SEOUL, April 21 (Yonhap) -- South Korean stocks opened lower Tuesday, tracking overnight losses on Wall Street.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index lost 16.07 points, or 0.85 percent, to 1,882.29 in the first 15 minutes of trading.
The decline followed losses in the U.S. market. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 2.44 percent, with the tech-heavy Nasdaq composite index declining 1.03 percent.
Huh Jae-hwan, a strategist at Eugene Investment Co., said a sharp plunge in oil prices and potential poor corporate earnings results weighed on investor sentiment.
In Seoul, most large-cap stocks traded mixed across the board.
Market bellwether Samsung Electronics Co. fell 1.50 percent, South Korea's second-largest chipmaker SK hynix Inc. was down 1.46 percent and top carmaker Hyundai Motor Co. shed 2.66 percent.
Among gainers, South Korea's state-run utility Korea Electric Power Corp. rose 2.81 percent, and South Korean biopharmaceutical firm Celltrion was up 0.71 percent.
The local currency was trading at 1,223.70 won against the U.S. dollar, down 3.20 won from the previous session's close.
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