SEOUL, Dec. 15 (Yonhap) — South Korean shares opened lower Tuesday tracking overnight Wall Street gains, as lockdown concerns in major economies offset optimism over the emergency launch of Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccinations in the United States.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) fell 13.22 points, or 0.48 percent, to 2,748.98 in the first 15 minutes of trading.

Local large caps dipped on foreign and institutional selling, as well as on aggravating the pandemic toll in the U.S., Europe and Asia.

South Korea’s cases remained high since hitting a daily record of 1,030 cases Sunday, prompting authorities to consider heavier lockdowns.

Overnight, the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 0.62 percent as U.S. COVID-19 deaths topped 300,000 lives lost. The Nasdaq Composite gained 0.5 percent, but the S&P 500 retreated 0.44 percent.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics slipped 0.14 percent, while No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix shed 0.85 percent.

Leading chemical firm LG Chem declined 0.38 percent, and rechargeable battery maker Samsung SDI moved down 0.36 percent.

Pharmaceutical giant Samsung Biologics dropped 1.48 percent, and Celltrion dipped 2.94 percent.

Hyundai Motor, the country’s largest carmaker, lost 0.26 percent.

Internet portal giant Naver edged up 0.17 percent, but its rival Kakao fell 0.27 percent.

The local currency was trading at 1,093.45 won against the U.S. dollar, down 1.65 won from the previous session’s close.