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S.Korea stocks ease ahead of Lunar New Year holiday

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

    SEOUL, Feb 10 (Reuters) - Round-up of South Korean financial
markets:
    
** South Korean equities fell slightly on Wednesday as worsening
unemployment data weighed on investor sentiment ahead of the
Lunar New Year holiday. The Korean won strengthened, while the
benchmark bond yield rose.
    
** The benchmark KOSPI         fell 0.73 points, or 0.02%, to
3,083.94 as of 0209 GMT. 
    
** South Korea's unemployment rate soared to a 21-year high in
January, while the number of people employed fell at the
sharpest pace in more than two decades, as curbs to contain the
coronavirus crisis continue to hurt the job market.             
    
** Na Jeong-hwan, an analyst at DS Investment & Securities, said
a ramp-up in inflation expectations due to rising oil prices was
also hurting market sentiment.      
    
** Samsung Electronics             fell 0.9%, while Kia Motors
            declined 1.06%
    
** Foreigners were net sellers of 21.8 billion won worth of
shares on the main board. 
    
** The won was quoted at 1,112.1 per dollar on the onshore
settlement platform           , 0.40% higher than its previous
close at 1,116.6.
    
** In offshore trading, the won        was quoted at 1,111.5 per
dollar, down 0.1% from the previous day, while in
non-deliverable forward trading its one-month contract
              was quoted at 1,111.0.
    
** The KOSPI has risen 7.32% so far this year, and gained 9.9%
in the previous 30 trading sessions.
    
** The trading volume during the session in the KOSPI index
        was 731.23 million shares. Of the total traded issues of
912, the number of advancing shares was 286.
    
** The most liquid 3-year Korean treasury bond yield rose by 0.7
basis point to 0.997%, while the benchmark 10-year yield rose by
1.5 basis points to 1.827%.
    
** South Korean markets will be closed on Thursday and Friday
for a public holiday.     

 (Reporting by Cynthia Kim; Additional reporting by Jihoon Lee;
Editing by Devika Syamnath)
  
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