Seoul shares opened sharply lower Monday, as the higher-than-expected inflation in the United States renewed concerns over more aggressive monetary tightening and a global economic slowdown.
The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) fell 57.04 points, or 2.2 percent, to 2,538.83 points in the first 15 minutes of trading.
On Friday, US shares tumbled after the US' consumer price index for May rose 8.6 percent, the highest level in 40 years.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average retreated 2.73 percent, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq composite dived 3.52 percent.
In Seoul, most large-cap shares lost ground, with hard-hit tech and bio shares dragging down the index.
Market bellwether Samsung Electronics lost 2.04 percent, and No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix declined 2.9 percent.
Major battery maker LG Energy Solution shed 1.88 percent, and chemical giant LG Chem fell 2.74 percent.
Big-cap bio shares also tumbled, with Samsung Biologics falling 2.59 percent and Celltrion skidding 0.94 percent.
Hyundai Motor sank 3.25 percent, and its smaller affiliate Kia went down 2.06 percent.
The local currency changed hands at 1,284.70 won against the US dollar as of 9:15 a.m., sharply down 15.80 won from the previous session's close. (Yonhap)