The stock market in South Korea opened higher but turned weaker and is trading in negative territory on Tuesday morning, as investors preferred to take profits following recent gains. On Wall Street, the major indices closed mixed as investors preferred to take profits amid some uncertainty about the impending earnings season.

The Dow closed down 25.57 points or 0.3% at 8,058, while the Nasdaq closed up 0.77 points or 0.1% at 1,653 and the S&P 500 closed up 2.17 points or 0.3% at 859.

In Asian trading, crude oil is currently down $0.29 at $49.76 a barrel in electronic trading. Light sweet crude for May delivery dropped $2.19 to $50.05 a barrel on Monday, after the International Energy Agency lowered its projection of global demand for this year. Demand worries also heated up amid concern over upcoming earnings reports.

The benchmark KOSPI Index opened Tuesday's session at 1,353, sharply higher than its previous close of 1,338, and is currently trading at 1,336, down 2.11 points, or 0.15%.

The local currency, the Won, opened higher against the US greenback at 1320 Won per US$, down from 1,329 Won, and is currently quoted at 1,327.50 Won per US$.

On economic front, a report released by the Ministry of Justice revealed that the number of foreign visitors who arrived in South Korea in the first quarter rose by more than 25% over the same period to top 2 million.

Financials are trading mixed. While KB Financial Group is losing 1.02%, Shinhan Financial is gaining 0.50% and Woori Finance is advancing 3.50%.

Technology stocks are trading higher. Hynix Semiconductor is gaining 3.63%, LG Electronics is adding 0.51%, and LG Display is advancing 0.63%. However, market heavyweight Samsung Electronics is falling 1.20%.

Among the shipbuilders, Hyundai Heavy Industries is losing 0.71%, but Daewoo Shipping is adding 0.66% and Samsung Heavy Industries is edging up 0.99%.

In the auto space, Hyundai Motor is gaining 0.30%, and Kia Motor is adding 0.50%. However, Ssangyong Motor is losing 1.92% on profit taking.

Oil related stocks are also trading mixed. S-Oil is gaining 0.41% but SK Holdings is losing 1.12%.

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