South Korean stocks opened lower Tuesday, taking a cue from overnight losses on Wall Street over the new coronavirus concerns.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index fell 15.13 points, or 0.63 percent, to 2,374.26 in the first 15 minutes of trading.
Investor sentiment worsened after US Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said a full recovery from the pandemic will take a considerably long time.
In a related move, former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said the United States may experience "at least one more cycle" of the virus by the end of the year.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average retreated 1.84 percent to 27,147.7 points on Monday (New York time). The Nasdaq Composite dropped 0.13 percent, and the S&P 500 lost 1.16 percent.
In Seoul, most large caps traded mixed.
Market behemoth Samsung Electronics added 0.51 percent, while No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix lost 0.95 percent.
Top automaker Hyundai Motor shed 1.89 percent, but leading chemical company LG Chem advanced 1.75 percent.
Pharmaceutical giant Samsung Biologics gained 2.03 percent.
Internet giant Naver fell 0.68 percent, with its rival Kakao dipping 1.37 percent.
The local currency was trading at 1,162.95 won against the US dollar, down 4.95 won from the previous session's close. (Yonhap)