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S.Korean stocks end at over four-month low on taper, virus fears

* KOSPI falls, foreigners net sellers

* Korean won weakens against U.S. dollar

* South Korea benchmark bond yield falls

* For the midday report, please click

SEOUL, Aug 19 (Reuters) - Round-up of South Korean financial markets:

** South Korean shares closed nearly 2% lower on Thursday, its lowest in more than four months, as worries about the Delta coronavirus variant and the U.S. Federal Reserve’s tapering dented risk appetite. The won and the benchmark bond yield fell.

** The KOSPI ended down 61.10 points, or 1.93%, at 3,097.83, marking the lowest close since April 1. It also posted the sharpest daily fall since Feb. 26.

** The benchmark tracked Wall Street’s losses overnight after the minutes from the Fed showed officials expected they could ease stimulus this year if the economy continues to improve.

** Meanwhile, South Korea reported more than 2,000 new cases for the second time on Thursday as it struggles to subdue a wave of outbreaks during the summer holidays.

** Technology giants led the declines, with Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix tumbling 1.08% and 1.44%, respectively. Naver and Samsung Biologics also dropped 1.05% and 1.81%.

** “Uncertainties about Fed’s tapering is affecting South Korea equities and its peers across the region,” said Kiwoom Securities’ analyst Han Ji-young.

** Foreigners were net sellers of 323.2 billion won ($274.74 million) worth of shares on the main board.

** Of the total traded issues of 920, the number of advancing shares was only 58.

** The won ended at 1,176.2 per dollar on the onshore settlement platform, down 0.70%.

** In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,176.0 per dollar, down 0.5%, while in non-deliverable forward trading its one-month contract was quoted at 1,176.2.

** In money and debt markets, September futures on three-year treasury bonds rose 0.11 point to 110.56.

** The most liquid 3-year Korean treasury bond yield fell by 2.8 basis points to 1.360%. ($1 = 1,176.3900 won) (Reporting by Joori Roh, additional reporting by Jihoon Lee; editing by Uttaresh.V)

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