* KOSPI falls, foreigners net sellers
* Korean won weakens against U.S. dollar
* South Korea benchmark bond yield rises
SEOUL, Sept 17 (Reuters) - Round-up of South Korean financial markets: ** South Korean shares fell on Thursday, with tech heavyweights leading the losses, hurt by profit-taking by foreign investors after the benchmark index neared a two-year high earlier this week. The Korean won weakened, while the benchmark bond yield rose.
** By 02:49 GMT, the KOSPI fell 21.94 points, or 0.90%, to 2,413.98. The benchmark snapped a four-session rally to fall 0.3% on Wednesday. ** Foreigners were net sellers of 13.9 billion won worth of shares on the main board.
** Shares of Samsung Electronics dropped 2.23%, while LG Electronics declined 1.1%.
** The U.S. Federal Reserve said it would keep interest rates near zero until inflation is on track to “moderately exceed” the central bank’s 2% target “for some time,” aiming to offset years of weak inflation and allowing the economy to add jobs for as long as possible. ** While the Fed’s promise to keep interest rates low was positive, not putting a specific time frame on its inflation target has disappointed the market, especially as Powell said the path ahead remains highly uncertain, said Na Jeong-hwan, an analyst at DS Investment & Securities.
** LG Chem, an electric car battery supplier for Tesla Inc and GM, fell 4.5% after announcing plans to separate its battery business into a new corporation in December. ** The won was quoted at 1,176.9 per dollar on the onshore settlement platform, 0.07% lower than its previous close at 1,176.1. ** MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was up 0.58%. ** The KOSPI has risen 9.84% so far this year and gained 6.8% over the previous 30 trading sessions. ** The trading volume during the session in the KOSPI index was 368.55 million shares. Of the total traded issues of 902, the number of advancing shares was 219. (Reporting by Cynthia Kim; Additional reporting by Jihoon Lee; Editing by Devika Syamnath)
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