S.Korea shares erase early gains on foreign outflows ahead of Lunar New Year holidays

* KOSPI falls, foreigners net sellers

* Korean won strengthens against U.S. dollar

* South Korea benchmark bond yield falls

* For the midday report, please click

SEOUL, Feb 9 (Reuters) – Round-up of South Korean financial markets:

** South Korean shares edged down on Tuesday in subdued trade ahead of the Lunar New Year holidays, as foreign investors booked profits after a sharp rebound in early session. The won gained for a second consecutive day, while the benchmark bond yield fell.

** The benchmark KOSPI closed down 6.57 points, or 0.21%, to 3,084.67, after rising as much as 1.24% in early session. The index declined 0.9% in the previous session.

** The early gains followed major U.S. stock indexes registering all-time closing highs on Monday amid optimism over U.S. fiscal stimulus.

** Majority of heavyweights traded mixed: Chip giant Samsung Electronics ended down 0.36%, while its peer SK Hynix was up 0.4%. LG Chem tumbled 1.72% but Hyundai Motor gained 1.07%, rebounding from its sharp loss a day earlier.

** “KOSPI reversed early gains as foreign investors turned net sellers, while institutions widened their selloff on profit-taking … The trading volume has decreased but market volatility seems to have risen,” said Choi Yoo-june, analyst at Shinhan Investment Corp.

** Trading volumes were thin ahead of the nation’s Lunar New Year holiday on Feb. 11-13. The trading volume during the session in the KOSPI was 2,106.25 million shares.

** Foreigners were net sellers of 222.8 billion won ($199.63 million) worth of shares on the main board.

** The won ended at 1,116.6 per dollar on the onshore settlement platform, 0.27% higher than its previous close at 1,119.6.

** In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,116.5 per dollar, down 0.1% from the previous day, while in non-deliverable forward trading its one-month contract was quoted at 1,116.2.

** The most liquid 3-year Korean treasury bond yield fell by 1.1 basis points to 0.990%.

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