SEOUL, March 24 (Yonhap) — South Korean stocks fell below the 3,000-point mark Wednesday despite the overnight decline in the U.S. Treasury yields, as doubts about a quick recovery from the pandemic continued to loom heavily on investor sentiment.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) fell 30.63 points, or 1.02 percent, to 2,974.11 points in the first 15 minutes of trading.

The KOSPI got off to a weak start amid foreign and institutional selling, largely affected by the 1.12 percent overnight loss on the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite.

 In Seoul, top cap Samsung Electronics lost 1.1 percent, and No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix retreated 1.48 percent.

 Leading chemical firm LG Chem gained 1.68 percent, and rechargeable battery maker Samsung SDI added 2.08 percent. Top automaker Hyundai Motor shed 2.43 percent.

 Giant pharmaceutical firm Samsung Biologics went down 0.7 percent, but Celltrion climbed 0.85 percent.

 Top internet portal operator Naver declined 2.2 percent, with its rival Kakao slumping 1.02 percent.

 The local currency was trading at 1,134.75 won against the U.S. dollar, down 5.05 won from the previous session’s close.