Seoul shares open sharply lower on Iran’s attack against Israel

South Korean stocks started sharply lower Monday amid growing geopolitical instability in the Middle East sparked by Iran's missile and drone strikes against Israel. The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index dropped 33.9 points, or 1.26 percent, to 2,647.92 in the first 15 minutes of trading. Iran conducted the attack Saturday in retaliation for Israel's airstrike on Iran's diplomatic complex in Syria earlier this month. Tech shares opened bearish, with Samsung Electronics falling 1.43 percent and No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix sliding 0.8 percent. Battery makers also traded weaker, with LG Energy Solution losing 1.35 percent and Samsung SDI moving down 1.37 percent. Leading online search engine operator Naver lost 1.34 percent, and its rival Kakao decreased 1.36 percent. The local currency was trading at 1,382 won against the dollar, down 6.6 won from the previous session's close. Source: Yonhap News Agency