* KOSPI almost flat, foreigners net buyers * Korean won steadies versus U.S. dollar * South Korea benchmark bond yield falls SEOUL, Dec 23 (Reuters) - Round-up of South Korean financial markets: ** South Korean shares were flat on Monday, as losses on profit booking after a recent rally were capped by lingering optimism over an interim U.S.-China trade deal, while exports data in-line with expectations failed to make any impact. The Korean won was steady, while the benchmark bond yield dropped. ** President Donald Trump on Saturday said the United States and China would "very shortly" sign their so-called "Phase One" trade pact. ** South Korean exports fell again in the first 20 days of December, but a recovery in demand from China and stabilising chip prices offered signs that a year-long run of declines may be nearing its end. ** As the exports figures were in line with market expectations, its influence was not considerable, said Lee Won, an analyst at Bookook Securities. A rebound in chip sales is likely from the second quarter of 2020, he added. ** As of 0148 GMT, the Seoul stock market's main KOSPI fell 3.87 points, or 0.18%, to 2,200.31. ** Foreigners were net buyers of 4.3 billion won ($3.70 million) worth of shares on the main board. ** The won was quoted at 1,162.4 per dollar on the onshore settlement platform , 0.15% lower than its previous close at 1,160.6. ** In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,160.5 per U.S. dollar, down 0.1% from the previous day, while in non-deliverable forward trading its one-month contract was quoted at 1,158.7 per dollar. ** MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was up 0.13%, after U.S. stocks gained modestly on Friday . Japanese stocks rose 0.11%. ** The KOSPI has risen 7.87% so far this year, and gained 3.1% in the previous 30 trading sessions. ** The trading volume during the session in the KOSPI index was 209.21 million shares and, of the total traded issues of 906, the number of advancing shares was 303. ** The won has lost 4.0% against the dollar so far this year. ** In money and debt markets, March futures on three-year treasury bonds rose 0.04 points to 110.47, while the 3-month Certificate of Deposit rate was quoted at 1.53%. ** The most liquid 3-year Korean treasury bond yield fell by 0.9 basis points to 1.385%, while the benchmark 10-year yield fell by 1.9 basis points to 1.657%. ($1 = 1,161.1000 won) (Reporting by Hayoung Choi; Editing by Rashmi Aich)
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