S.Korea stocks hit more than 7-month high as chipmakers soar

    * KOSPI adds 0.7%, foreigners net buyers
    * Korean won strengthens versus U.S. dollar
    * South Korea benchmark bond yield falls

    SEOUL, Dec 17 (Reuters) - Round-up of South Korean financial
** South Korean shares jumped on Tuesday as foreigners increased
their exposure to local chip stocks in anticipation of an uptick
in memory chip demand against the backdrop of easing trade
 ** The Korean won strengthened, while the benchmark bond yield
** In the U.S. markets overnight, shares of chipmaker Micron
Technology        jumped after brokerage Susquehanna upgraded to
"positive" from "neutral." Philadelphia Semiconductor index
      , which has so far this year gained 55.5%, added nearly
** Tracking gains in U.S. peers, shares of Samsung Electronics
            rose 2.6% and SK Hynix             climbed 3.5%. 
** In addition to a boost in Wall Street, recent increases in
chip prices also sent chipmakers higher, according to Seo
Sang-young, an analyst at Kiwoom Securities. 
** As of 0213 GMT, the Seoul stock market's main KOSPI        
rose 14.87 points, or 0.69%, to 2,183.02, marking its intraday
high since May 3. 
** Foreigners were net buyers of 189.3 billion won ($160.51
million) worth of shares on the main board. 
** The won was quoted at 1,169.2 per dollar on the onshore
settlement platform           , 0.27% higher than its previous
close at 1,172.3.
** In offshore trading, the won        was quoted at 1,169.1 per
U.S. dollar, down 0.1% from the previous day, while in
non-deliverable forward trading its one-month contract
              was quoted at 1,167.0 per dollar.
** MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan
                was up 0.44%, after U.S. stocks notched record
closing highs overnight            . Japanese stocks        
rose 0.37%.
** The KOSPI has risen 6.81% so far this year, and gained 1.8%
in the previous 30 trading sessions.
** The trading volume during the session in the KOSPI index
        was 143.73 million shares and, of the total traded
issues of 908, the number of advancing shares was 345.
** The won has lost 4.6% against the dollar so far this year.
** In money and debt markets, December futures on three-year
treasury bonds         was unchanged at 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 0.6
basis points to 1.362%, while the benchmark 10-year yield fell
by 1.2 basis points to 1.603%.
($1 = 1,179.3300 won)    

 (Reporting by Hayoung Choi; 
Editing by Arun Koyyur)