SEOUL, March 19 (Yonhap) — South Korean stocks opened lower Friday, tracking an overnight tech plunge on Wall Street that stemmed from a hike in the long-term U.S. Treasury yields.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) fell 40.99 points, or 1.34 percent, to 3.025.02 points in the first 15 minutes of trading.

Tech stocks, sensitive to inflation, dropped as spiking yield rates fueled concerns over earlier-than-expected post-pandemic inflation.

Overnight, the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite tumbled 3.02 percent, as the yield on the U.S. 10-year Treasury note surged, briefly topping the 1.75 percent mark for the first time since January last year.

In Seoul, top cap Samsung Electronics lost 1.09 percent, and No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix shed 2.82 percent.

Leading chemical firm LG Chem declined 2.9 percent, and rechargeable battery maker Samsung SDI retreated 2.57 percent. Top automaker Hyundai Motor went down 1.71 percent.

Pharmaceutical firm Samsung Biologics decreased 1.8 percent, and top internet portal operator Naver fell 1.61 percent.

The local currency was trading at 1,130.5 won against the U.S. dollar, down 6.8 won from the previous session’s close.