* KOSPI treads water, foreigners net buyers * Korean won strengthens versus U.S. dollar * South Korea benchmark bond yield falls SEOUL, Dec 20 (Reuters) - Round-up of South Korean financial markets: ** South Korean shares were flat on Friday, as caution ahead of exports data release offset optimism from hopes of an interim U.S.-China trade deal soon. The Korean won gained, while the benchmark bond yield fell. ** U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Thursday the United States and China would sign their "Phase one" trade pact at the beginning of January, adding that it was completely finished and just undergoing a technical "scrub". ** On this news, Wall Street's major indexes resumed their rally with fresh records on Thursday. ** As of 0142 GMT, the Seoul stock market's main KOSPI rose 1.58 points, or 0.07%, to 2,198.14. For the week, the KOSPI was set to gain 1.29%. ** For the markets to rise further, a rebound in exports should be confirmed, said Noh Dong-gil, an analyst at NH Investment & Securities. ** South Korea's exports from Dec. 1 to 20 is set to be released on Monday. ** Foreigners were net buyers of 18.9 billion won ($16.24 million) worth of shares on the main board. ** The won was quoted at 1,163.4 per dollar on the onshore settlement platform , 0.19% higher than its previous close at 1,165.6. ** In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,163.9 per U.S. dollar, down 0.1% from the previous day, while in non-deliverable forward trading its one-month contract was quoted at 1,162.5 per dollar. ** MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was down 0.13%, after U.S. stocks posted fresh records overnight . Japanese stocks fell 0.21%. ** The KOSPI has risen 7.64% so far this year, and gained 2.4% in the previous 30 trading sessions. ** The trading volume during the session in the KOSPI index was 207.14 million shares and, of the total traded issues of 904, the number of advancing shares was 393. ** The won has lost 4.1% against the dollar so far this year. ** In money and debt markets, March futures on three-year treasury bonds rose 0.02 points to 110.45, while the 3-month Certificate of Deposit rate was quoted at 1.53%. ** The most liquid 3-year Korean treasury bond yield fell by 0.4 basis points to 1.379%, while the benchmark 10-year yield fell by 0.6 basis points to 1.650%. ($1 = 1,163.6900 won) (Reporting by Hayoung Choi; Editing by Rashmi Aich)
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