Seoul stocks opened lower on Tuesday, tracking losses on Wall Street, as concerns grow that the US Federal Reserve may continue its aggressive monetary tightening following strong services data.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index fell 16.19 points, or 0.67 percent, to 2,403.13 in the first 15 minutes of trading.
US service sector activity unexpectedly picked up in November, raising concerns that the Fed may not imminently slow down the pace of rate increases.
Fed Chair Jerome Powell said last week that the US central bank could pivot to slower rate rises as soon as December.
Large-cap stocks were mixed across the board.
Market bellwether Samsung Electronics Co. fell 0.5 percent, No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix Inc. declined 0.6 percent, top carmaker Hyundai Motor Co. shed 0.9 percent, and state-run utility Korea Electric Power Corp. dropped 1 percent.
Among gainers, Hanjin KAL Corp, parent firm of national flag carrier Korean Air Co., rose 0.5 percent, leading wireless services provider SK Telecom Co. climbed 1 percent, and leading budget carrier Jin Air Co. was up 1.7 percent.
The local currency was trading at 1,303.80 won against the US dollar as of 9:15 a.m., down 11.20 won from the previous day's close. (Yonhap)