South Korean stocks got off to a weak start Thursday, as worries about the world economy, possibly set for a recession, continued to weigh on investor sentiment.
The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) fell 23.52 points, or 0.88 percent, to 2,662.38 in the first 15 minutes of trading.
Overnight, Wall Street ended lower amid woes over the potential economic impact of the US Federal Reserve's planned tighter monetary policy.
In Seoul, most shares lost ground across the board.
Market bellwether Samsung Electronics dipped more than 1 percent, and bio blue chip Celltrion dropped about 2 percent. Top automaker Hyundai Motor also fell about 1 percent.
Leading chemical company LG Chem, however, gained more than 1 percent. Samsung Life Insurance also climbed over 1 percent.
The local currency started sharply lower against the US dollar, trading at 1,248.80 won as of 9:15 a.m., down 11.6 won from Tuesday's close.
South Korean stock markets were closed Wednesday for local elections. (Yonhap)