A selloff in global markets turned to Asia, with stocks across the region plunging in trading on Monday as worries grow over slowing growth in China and signs the U.S. will ease back on stimulus.
The declines first hit developing economies, with currencies in Argentina, Turkey and Ukraine falling especially rapidly, plagued also by political problems at home.
But the selloff has since spread to more advanced economies, with the U.S. tumbling Friday and shares in Seoul slumping to a 5-month low in early trading on this Monday.
As of 1:30 p.m. Korea time, the benchmark KOSPI was down 1.5 percent at 19-12 after touching an intraday low of 18-99.8 -- its lowest level since August last year.
The Korean won also dropped to a four-month low, for the sixth day of losses -- the longest run of losses since March -- falling point-4 percent to 1,and-83 won per dollar.