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Ex-dividend trade weighs on S.Korea shares

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

    SEOUL, Dec 29 (Reuters) - Round-up of South Korean financial
markets:
    
    ** South Korean shares were little changed on Tuesday as a
slew of blue chips trading ex-dividend countered hopes that a
long-awaited U.S. pandemic aid package would be expanded. The
won strengthened, while the benchmark bond yield rose.
    
    ** The benchmark KOSPI         slid 0.71 points, or 0.03%,
to 2,807.89 by 0245 GMT as major companies including market
heavyweight Samsung Electronics went ex-dividend. Shares of
Samsung Electronics             were down 1.3%.
    
    ** The U.S. House of Representatives voted to increase
stimulus payments to qualified Americans to $2,000 from $600,
sending the measure on to the Senate for a vote.             
    
    ** Back home, there were 40 new coronavirus deaths, a record
daily toll, with 1,046 new infections for Monday, as the country
grapples with a third wave of infections centred around nursing
homes and a prison in the capital Seoul.             
    
    ** South Korea unveiled a fresh 9.3 trillion won ($8.49
billion) package on Tuesday to support small businesses hit by
the third wave of coronavirus and those vulnerable to
unemployment due to the outbreak.             
    
    ** Meanwhile, the nation's export recovery likely
accelerated in December thanks to strong chip demand, though the
pandemic continued to add pressure on domestic consumption, a
Reuters poll showed.             
    
    ** Foreigners were net sellers of 198.6 billion won worth of
shares on the main board. 
    
    ** The won was quoted at 1,094.1 per dollar on the onshore
settlement platform           , 0.24% firmer than its previous
close at 1,096.7.
    
    ** In offshore trading, the won        was quoted at
1,092.8, while in non-deliverable forward trading its one-month
contract               was quoted at 1,091.8.
    
    ** In money and debt markets, March futures on three-year
treasury bonds         fell 0.03 point to 111.50.
    
    ** The most liquid 3-year Korean treasury bond yield rose by
1.3 basis points to 0.972%.

 (Reporting by Joori Roh; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)
  
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