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 nearly flat Monday as investors took a wait-and-see mode amid the country's spiking new coronavirus cases and concerns over China Evergrande Group's debt crisis.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) slipped 0.23 points, or 0.01 percent, to 3,125.01 points in the first 15 minutes of trading.
Stocks got off to a muted start amid spikes in South Korea's daily COVID-19 cases. On Monday, South Korea reported 2,383 new COVID-19 cases.
Daily cases have stayed in the quadruple digits for 83 days.
Investors were monitoring the risks from the massive $310 billion debt of giant Chinese property developer Evergrande that caused high volatility in the Asian markets last week.
The US Federal Reserve's chief is set to testify at a Senate hearing Tuesday (US time).
In Seoul, top cap Samsung Electronics traded flat, and No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix increased 0.48 percent.
Internet portal operator Naver lost 0.25 percent, while pharmaceutical giant Samsung Biologics added 0.76 percent.
Leading chemical firm LG Chem gained 0.39 percent, but top automaker Hyundai Motor retreated 1.45 percent. Top bank stock Kakao Bank declined 1.45 percent.
The local currency was trading at 1,177.6 won against the US dollar, down 1.1 won from the previous session's close. (Yonhap)