* KOSPI index rises slightly, foreigners net sellers
* Korean won strengthens versus U.S. dollar
* South Korea benchmark bond yield rises
* For the midday report, please click
SEOUL, March 18 (Reuters) - Round-up of South Korean financial markets:
** South Korea’s KOSPI stock index closed slightly higher on Monday, despite a sharp rise in Chinese stocks, as foreigners and individuals became net sellers taking profit from rise in previous sessions. Both the Korean won and the benchmark bond yield gained. ** At the close, the Seoul stock market’s main KOSPI index added 3.38 points, or 0.16 percent, to 2,179.49 points. The index gained 0.9 percent on Friday and 0.3 percent on Thursday, respectively.
** South Korean stocks were almost unchanged from previous closing during the session as investors sold on profit taking, while some of them bought on solid Chinese stocks, Seo Sang-young, an analyst from Kiwoom Securities, said in a note. ** Foreigners were net sellers of 45.2 billion won ($39.92 million) worth of shares on the main board.
** The won was quoted at 1,132.1 per dollar on the onshore settlement platform, 0.46 percent higher than its previous close at 1,137.3. ** In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,131.9 per U.S. dollar, up 0.2 percent from the previous day, while in one-year non-deliverable forward trading its one-month contract was quoted at 1,130.9 per dollar.
** MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was up 0.82 percent, after U.S. stocks rose on Friday. Japanese stocks rose 0.62 percent.
** The KOSPI has risen 6.78 percent so far this year, and fell 0.1 percent in the previous 30 trading sessions.
** The current price-to-earnings ratio is 12.10, the dividend yield is 1.28 percent and the market capitalisation is 1,242.04 trillion won.
** The trading volume during the session on the KOSPI index was 249.16 million shares and, of the total traded issues of 898, the number of advancing shares was 518.
** The won has lost 1.4 percent against the U.S dollar this year.
** In money and debt markets, March futures on three-year treasury bonds fell 0.03 points to 109.16, while the 3-month Certificate of Deposit rate was quoted at 1.90 percent.
** The most liquid 3-year Korean treasury bond yield rose by 0.8 basis points to 1.812 percent, while the benchmark 10-year yield rose by 0.7 basis points to 1.995 percent. ($1 = 1,132.3300 won) (Reporting by Hayoung Choi; Editing by Rashmi Aich)