South Korean stocks started nearly flat as losses in automakers were offset by gains in cosmetics and oil refiners.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index edged down 1.65 points, or 0.08 percent, to 2,031.62 in the first 15 minutes of trading.
Top carmaker Hyundai Motor sank 2.46 percent, and its sister Kia Motors tumbled 3.32 percent.
AmorePacific, the largest cosmetics maker, gained 0.14 percent and runner-up LG Household & Health Care climbed 0.58 percent.
Leading oil refiner SK Innovation advanced 0.88 percent, and No. 3 S-Oil rose 1.02 percent.
The local currency was trading at 1,127.65 won against the U.S. dollar as of 9:15 a.m., up 2.55 won from Thursday's close. (Yonhap)