Seoul shares opened slightly higher Tuesday amid escalating woes over China's COVID-19 situations.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index added 2.86 points, or 0.12 percent, to 2,422.36 as of 9:15 a.m.
Investors are paying attention to recent COVID-19 developments in China as Beijing could impose stricter antivirus restrictions, which would wreak havoc on its economy. China is South Korea's top trading partner.
Overnight, US stocks fell, weighed down by interest-sensitive tech shares as investors took to the sidelines to monitor the Fed's rate policy direction.
The S&P 500 fell 0.4 percent, the Dow Jones Industrial Average inched down 0.1 percent, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq retreated 1.1 percent.
In Seoul, most large cap shares got off to weak starts.
Market bellwether Samsung Electronics inched down 0.33 percent, while battery maker LG Energy Solution rose 0.35 percent.
IT shares lost ground. Portal operator Naver declined 1.1 percent, and messenger app operator Kakao slid 1.07 percent.
Major chemical firm LG Chem advanced 3.37 percent on news of its new cathode factory set to break ground in the US state of Tennessee next year.
The local currency was trading hands at 1,357.6 won against the dollar as of 9:15 a.m., down 2.9 won from the previous session's close. (Yonhap)