* KOSPI falls, foreigners buy
* KRW weakens against USD
* South Korea benchmark bond yield falls
* For the midday report, please click
SEOUL, Dec 18 (Reuters) - Round-up of South Korean financial markets: South Korean shares ended marginally lower on Wednesday as investors booked profits from the recent rally. The Korean won weakened, while the benchmark bond yield also fell.
** The KOSPI ended down 0.92 points, or 0.04%, to 2,194.76.
** The KOSPI ended down slightly as domestic institutions sold more, said Bookook Securities analyst Lee Won.
** Foreigners were seen buying the KOSPI, especially tech-related equities due to the positive outlook on semiconductors in the coming year, Lee added.
** Nomura said in a report published on Tuesday there would be another super-cycle in the semiconductor industry between 2020 and 2021. It raised target prices for both Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix, while maintaining its buy ratings for the country’s top 2 chipmakers.
** Shares of Samsung Electronics closed down 0.71% after rising as much as 0.9%. The stock has surged 45.5% so far this year, compared with a 7.4% rise in the broader market.
** Foreigners were net buyers of 380.7 billion won ($322.81 million) worth of shares on the main board.
** The won was quoted at 1,168.8 per dollar on the onshore settlement platform, 0.22% lower than its previous close at 1,166.2.
** In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,168.0 per U.S. dollar, down 0.4% from the previous day, while in non-deliverable forward trading, its one-month contract was quoted at 1,166.7 per dollar.
** MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was down 0.03%, while U.S. stocks ended up overnight. Japanese stocks fell 0.55%.
** The KOSPI has risen 7.53% so far this year, but gained 2.5% in the previous 30 trading sessions.
** The trading volume during the session on the KOSPI index was 580.20 million shares and, of the total traded issues of 908, the number of advancing shares was 408.
** The won has lost 4.5% against the dollar so far this year.
** In money and debt markets, March futures on three-year treasury bonds rose 0.03 points to 110.50, while the 3-month Certificate of Deposit rate was quoted at 1.53% in late afternoon trade.
** The most liquid 3-year Korean treasury bond yield fell by 0.9 basis point to 1.355% in late afternoon trade, while the benchmark 10-year yield fell by 0.4 basis point to 1.602%. ($1 = 1,179.3300 won) (Reporting by Joori Roh; editing by Uttaresh.V)
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