SEOUL, Dec. 3 (Yonhap) — South Korean stocks opened nearly flat Thursday on valuation pressure, after the benchmark index closed at an all-time high the previous session despite the new coronavirus concerns.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 0.45 point, or 0.02 percent, to 2,676.35 in the first 15 minutes of trading.

Stocks traded choppy, with strong advances by chipmakers offset by institutional and foreign selling.

Overnight, the Dow Jones Industrial Average edged up 0.2 percent to 29,883.79 points, but the tech-laden Nasdaq Composite slid 0.05 percent. The S&P 500 climbed 0.18 percent.

Large caps traded mixed in Seoul.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics added 0.72 percent, and No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix gained 1.83 percent.

Hyundai Motor, the country’s largest carmaker, traded flat.

Leading chemical firm LG Chem shed 0.95 percent, and rechargeable battery maker Samsung SDI retreated 0.91 percent.

Pharmaceutical giant Samsung Biologics climbed 0.25 percent, and Celltrion rose 1.73 percent.

Internet portal giant Naver went up 0.88 percent, but its rival Kakao declined 0.4 percent.

The local currency was trading at 1,100.85 won against the U.S. dollar, down 0.05 won from the previous session’s close.