Seoul shares open sharply lower on US losses
South Korean stocks opened over 1.4 percent lower Thursday in a broad sell-off on heightened concerns after Wall Street slumped overnight.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index lost 33.92 points, or 1.44 percent, to 2,329.25 in the first 15 minutes of trading.
In the US, the S&P 500 tumbled 1.43 percent and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite shot down 2.43 percent, posting its largest drop this year, on Google's parent Alphabet's disappointing cloud figures and a rise in Treasury yields.
In Seoul, most big-cap shares, led by techs and battery stocks, went south.
Market bellwether Samsung Electronics lost 0.59 percent, and SK hynix, the country's No. 2 chipmaker, tumbled 2.67 percent.
Leading battery maker LG Energy Solution dropped 1.34 percent and its smaller rival Samsung SDI shot down more than 5 percent on a forecast that the global demand for battery and electric vehicles will slow down next year.
Posco shares were also sharply down, with steel giant Posco Holdings down 3.48 percent and its battery component-making affiliate Posco Future M down 3.65 percent.
Auto shares also lost ground, with Hyundai Motor down 1.81 percent and its smaller affiliate Kia down 1.59 percent.
IT stocks also slid.
Internet portal operator Naver declined 1.9 percent and Kakao, the operator of the country's top mobile messenger, retreated 2.44 percent.
Leading chemical producer LG Chem plunged 4.48 percent and major oil refinery SK Innovation slumped 3.68 percent.
The local currency was trading at 1,354.70 won against the US dollar at 9:15 a.m., down 5 won from the previous session's close. (Yonhap)