S.Korea stocks fall as virus worries outweigh U.S. stimulus optimism

    * KOSPI falls, foreigners net sellers
    * Korean won weakens against U.S. dollar
    * South Korea benchmark bond yield rises

    SEOUL, Dec 21 (Reuters) - Round-up of South Korean financial
** South Korean shares fell on Monday as a worsening COVID-19
pandemic sapped risk appetite despite optimism around the U.S.
stimulus. The Korean won weakened, while the benchmark bond
yield rose.
** By 0206 GMT, the benchmark KOSPI         fell 14.82 points,
or 0.53%, to 2,757.36.
** South Korea recorded its highest daily death toll from the
coronavirus, health authorities said on Monday.             

** U.S. congressional leaders reached agreement on Sunday on a
$900 billion package to provide the first new aid in months.
** Shares of SK Hynix             dropped 2.95%, Samsung
Electronics             declined 1.1%                
** Foreigners were net sellers of 105.8 billion won worth of
shares on the main board. 
** The won was quoted at 1,100.7 per dollar on the onshore
settlement platform           , 0.09% lower than its previous
close at 1,099.7.
** In offshore trading, the won        was quoted at 1,100.5 per
dollar, down 0.1% from the previous day, while in
non-deliverable forward trading its one-month contract
              was quoted at 1,098.7.
** MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan
                was down 0.48%.
** The KOSPI is up 25.47% so far this year, and gained 14.7% in
the previous 30 trading sessions.
** The trading volume during the session on the KOSPI index
        was 541.08 million shares. Of the total traded issues of
907, the number of advancing shares was 294.
** The won has gained 5.1% against the dollar so far this year.
** In money and debt markets, March futures on three-year
treasury bonds         fell 0.02 points to 111.43.
** The most liquid 3-year Korean treasury bond yield rose by 0.9
basis points to 0.970%, while the benchmark 10-year yield rose
by 1.0 basis points to 1.710%.

 (Reporting by Cynthia Kim; editing by Uttaresh.V)