SEOUL, Nov. 30 (Yonhap) — South Korean stocks opened almost flat Monday after the benchmark index set a fresh record high the previous session amid a resurgence of COVID-19 cases.

The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 1.05 points, or 0.04 percent, to 2,634.5 in the first 15 minutes of trading.

Stocks got off to a muted start as a recent surge in infections dampened investor hopes for a faster-than-expected economic recovery amid global development of new COVID-19 vaccines.

Investors are also tempted to lock in recent gains.

Large caps traded mixed in Seoul.

Market behemoth Samsung Electronics shed 0.15 percent, while No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix remained unchanged.

Pharmaceutical giant Samsung Biologics inched up 0.25 percent, and Celltrion jumped 2.84 percent.

Top automaker Hyundai Motor rose 2.76 percent, while leading chemical company LG Chem edged down 0.12 percent.

Internet portal giant Naver fell 0.18 percent, and its rival Kakao declined 0.4 percent.

The local currency was trading at 1,104.3 won against the U.S. dollar, down 1.1 won from the previous session’s close.