The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (Kospi) figures are displayed at a dealing room of a local bank in Seoul, Monday. (Yonhap)
South Korean stocks opened steeply lower Monday, tracking last week's fall on Wall Street stemming from virus concerns.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) declined 29.65 points, or 0.98 percent, to 2,988.08 points in the first 15 minutes of trading.
Most large caps traded lower in Seoul.
Top cap Samsung Electronics shed 0.9 percent, and No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix decreased 0.41 percent.
Internet portal operator Naver retreated 1.95 percent, leading chemical firm LG Chem fell 1.72 percent, and top automaker Hyundai Motor lost 1.19 percent.
Among gainers, pharmaceutical giant Celltrion added 1.45 percent.
The local currency was trading at 1,187.75 won against the US dollar, down 6.85 won from the previous session's close. (Yonhap)