South Korean stocks started a tad lower amid Washington's updated exports control on chip exports to China.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index dropped 6.74 points, or 0.27 percent, to 2,453.43 in the first 15 minutes of trading.
On Wall Street, US stocks finished mixed on better-than-expected retail sales data and the US government's latest rules to increase its restrictions on the sale of semiconductors from American companies to China.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.04 percent, but the tech-heavy Nasdaq composite fell 0.3 percent.
In Seoul, Samsung Electronics, the world's largest memory chipmaker, lost 0.43 percent and its rival SK hynix decreased 0.69 percent.
Leading chemicals company LG Chem retreated 1.55 percent and its battery-making affiliate LG Energy solution dropped 1.68 percent.
But carmakers were strong, with industry leader Hyundai Motor gaining 1.06 percent and its sister Kia rising 1.22 percent.
The local currency was trading at 1,354.4 won against the US dollar at 9:15 a.m., down 0.8 won from the previous session's close. (Yonhap)
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