Seoul stocks open lower on omicron concerns

SEOUL, Dec. 6 (Yonhap) — South Korean stocks opened steeply lower Monday, tracking losses on Wall Street that stemmed from worries about the omicron variant of the coronavirus.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) fell 30.26 points, or 1.02 percent, to 2,938.07 points in the first 15 minutes of trading.

Stocks came off to a weak start, led by foreign and institutional sell-offs.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average retreated 0.17 percent, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq composite declined 1.92 percent amid rising virus concerns.

Most large caps traded lower in Seoul.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics declined 0.66 percent, and No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix retreated 1.27 percent.

Pharmaceutical giant Samsung Biologics lost 0.56 percent, and internet portal operator Naver retreated 1.99 percent. Leading carmaker Hyundai Motor decreased 1.46 percent.

The local currency was trading at 1,185.8 won against the U.S. dollar, down 5.7 won from the previous session’s close.