SEOUL, Jan. 14 (Yonhap) -- South Korean stocks traded slightly lower late Thursday morning amid growing valuation pressure following a recent rally.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) fell 3.32 points, or 0.11 percent, to 3,144.97 as of 11:20 a.m.
The key index traded choppy, switching between negative and positive terrain and tracking overnight trends on Wall Street amid the impeachment proceedings of U.S. President Donald Trump and hopes for more stimulus from the incoming Biden administration.
Overnight, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.03 percent, while the Nasdaq Composite added 0.43 percent.
Investor sentiment also remained subdued after the KOSPI reached record heights last week.
Most large caps in Seoul traded lower.
Market kingpin Samsung Electronics slipped 0.78 percent, and No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix retreated 2.26 percent.
Pharmaceutical firm Samsung Biologics declined 1.45 percent, and Celltrion tumbled 6.68 percent.
Top automaker Hyundai Motor skid 2.9 percent.
Leading chemical maker LG Chem jumped 3.2 percent, while rechargeable battery maker Samsung SDI edged down 0.13 percent.
Internet portal operator Naver advanced 1.11 percent, and rival Kakao added 0.44 percent.
The local currency was trading at 1,099.5 won against the U.S. dollar, down 4.4 won from the previous session's close.
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