South Korean stocks opened lower Friday as the United States Federal Reserve's remark on a possible cut in monetary easing continued to weigh down on investors' sentiment, analysts said.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) nosedived 36.16 points, or 1.95 percent, to 1,814.33 in the first 15 minutes of trading.
Blue-chip shares lost ground across the board, with tech giant Samsung Electronics falling 2.26 percent and chipmaker SK hynix moving down 1.93 percent. Top steelmaker POSCO moved down 2.42 percent.
Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke said Wednesday (local time) the U.S. central bank is likely to start slowing the pace of its US$85 billion monthly bond purchase program this year as its economy is improving.
U.S. stocks also plunged Thursday following the remark, with the Dow Jones industrial average falling 2.34 percent and the NASDAQ composite index losing 2.28 percent.
The local currency was trading at 1,158.50 won against the U.S. dollar as of 9:15 a.m., sinking 12.80 won from Thursday's close.
The won ended at 1,145.70 won against the greenback Thursday, down 14.90 won from the previous trading session to hit an 11-month low. (Yonhap News)