Seoul stocks open tad lower on inflation worries

SEOUL, March 15 (Yonhap) — South Korean stocks opened slightly lower Monday as rising bond yields continued to stoke concerns of earlier-than-expected post-pandemic inflation.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index fell 4.24 points, or 0.14 percent, to 3,050.15 points in the first 15 minutes of trading.

Auto and financial stocks got off to a strong start, while techs slumped.

Top cap Samsung Electronics lost 0.48 percent, but No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix gained 0.71 percent.

Giant internet portal operator Naver traded flat, but its rival Kakao retreated 1.04 percent.

Pharmaceutical giant Samsung Biologics declined 1.88 percent, with Celltrion moving down 1.68 percent.

Leading chemical firm LG Chem advanced 2.12 percent, and top automaker Hyundai Motor edged up 0.22 percent.

The local currency was trading at 1,136 won against the U.S. dollar, down 2.2 won from the previous session’s close.