for-phone-onlyfor-tablet-portrait-upfor-tablet-landscape-upfor-desktop-upfor-wide-desktop-up

S.Korea shares drop most in 2 weeks on virus mutation 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, Dec 22 (Reuters) - Round-up of South Korean financial markets: ** South Korean shares declined the most in two weeks on Tuesday as foreign investors took profits on rising concerns over a new fast-spreading strain of the coronavirus in Britain and fresh COVID-related curbs at home. The Korean won weakened, while the benchmark bond yield fell. ** By 0632 GMT, the benchmark KOSPI fell 44.97 points, or 1.62%, to 2,733.68, its biggest daily decline since Dec. 8. ** Foreigners were net sellers of 149.6 billion won worth of shares on the main board.

** Investors are increasingly cashing in on a recent rally, fuelled by optimism over a U.S. stimulus package and progress on vaccines, as fears deepen over the risks from mutation of the coronavirus, said Kiwoom Securities’ analyst Seo Sang-young. ** South Korea moved to shut down all ski resorts and winter tourist spots to curb a third wave of COVID-19 cases in the capital city. ** Meanwhile, several countries closed their borders to Britain over fears of a highly infectious new coronavirus strain. ** The won was quoted at 1,107.4 per dollar on the onshore settlement platform, 0.42% lower than its previous close at 1,102.7. ** In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,107.5 per dollar, down 0.4% from the previous day, while in non-deliverable forward trading its one-month contract was quoted at 1,106.1. ** MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was down 0.48%,. ** The KOSPI has risen 24.39% so far this year, and gained 13.5% in the previous 30 trading sessions. ** The won has gained 4.4% against the dollar so far this year. ** In money and debt markets, March futures on three-year treasury bonds rose 0.08 points to 111.58. ** The most liquid 3-year Korean treasury bond yield fell by 1.5 basis points to 0.945%, while the benchmark 10-year yield fell by 2.3 basis points to 1.656%. (Reporting by Cynthia Kim; Editing by Aditya Soni)

for-phone-onlyfor-tablet-portrait-upfor-tablet-landscape-upfor-desktop-upfor-wide-desktop-up