S.Korean stocks set for 8th straight weekly gain on Brexit trade deal hopes

    * KOSPI rises, foreigners net buyers
    * Korean won strengthens against U.S. dollar
    * South Korea benchmark bond yield rises

    SEOUL, Dec 24 (Reuters) - Round-up of South Korean financial
** South Korean shares rose on Thursday and were set to post an
eighth straight weekly gain as a likely Brexit trade deal
soothed investor nerves in a thin trading day ahead of Christmas
holiday period. 
** The won strengthened, and the benchmark bond yield rose. For
the week, the won is set to post loss for a third week. 
** By 0159 GMT, the benchmark KOSPI         rose 21.51 points,
or 0.78%, to 2,781.33. An eight straight weekly gain would be
the longest stretch of weekly gains since mid-2017.  
** It's a choppy trading day ahead of Christmas and positive
momentum has come from expectation of a Brexit trade deal and
hopes of a faster economic recovery in 2021, said Huh Jae-hwan,
an analyst at Eugene Investment and Securities. 
** Britain and the European Union appeared close to clinching a
long-elusive trade agreement on Wednesday, raising hopes that
they were now set to avoid a turbulent economic rupture on New
Year's Day.             

** Meanwhile, South Korea signed deals with Pfizer Inc        
and Johnson & Johnson's         Janssen to import coronavirus
vaccines to cover up to 16 million people, as it grapples with
the third wave of infections.              
** Shares of Samsung Electronics             rose 2.5% and SK
Hynix             gained 1.3%.
** Foreigners were net buyers of 17.9 billion won worth of
shares on the main board.
** The won was quoted at 1,105.6 per dollar on the onshore
settlement platform           , up 0.21%.
** MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan
                was up 0.90%.
** The KOSPI has risen 26.56% so far this year, and gained 11.0%
in the previous 30 trading sessions.
** The trading volume was 513.77 million shares. Of the total
traded issues of 907, the number of advancing shares was 571.
** The won has gained 4.6% against the dollar so far this year.
** The most liquid 3-year Korean treasury bond yield rose by 0.6
basis points to 0.938%, while the benchmark 10-year yield rose
by 2.3 basis points to 1.663%.

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