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S.Korean stocks dip on virus mutation fears, fresh distancing measures

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

    SEOUL, Dec 22 (Reuters) - Round-up of South Korean financial
markets:
    
** South Korean shares fell on Tuesday as a new strain of the
coronavirus in the UK and fresh social distancing restrictions
at home hurt sentiment. The Korean won weakened and the
benchmark bond yield fell.
    
** By 0145 GMT, the benchmark KOSPI         was down 13.54
points, or 0.49%, at 2,765.11.
    
** 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.
            
    
** South Korean chat app operator Kakao Corp             and the
country's biggest search engine operator Naver            ,
jumped 2% and 1.6%, respectively, while heavyweights Samsung
Electronics             and SK Hynix             declined.      
 
    
** South Korean shares are joining a global decline on virus
mutation fears, and tech shares such as Naver and Kakao are
rising on higher demand for contactless services, Hana Financial
Investment's analyst Lee Jae-sun said.
    
** Foreigners were net sellers of 38.9 billion won worth of
shares on the main board.
    
** The won was quoted at 1,105.2 per dollar on the onshore
settlement platform           , down 0.23%.
    
** In offshore trading, the won        was quoted at 1,105.0 per
dollar, down 0.2%, while in non-deliverable forward trading its
one-month contract               was quoted at 1,103.3.
    
** MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan
                was down 0.48%.
    
** The KOSPI has risen 25.82% so far this year, and gained 13.5%
in the previous 30 trading sessions.
    
** The most liquid 3-year Korean treasury bond yield fell by 0.1
basis point to 0.959%, while the benchmark 10-year yield fell by
0.1 basis point to 1.678%.

 (Reporting by Cynthia Kim, additional reporting by Jihoon Lee;
editing by Uttaresh.V)
  
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