February 12, 2020 / 7:11 AM / 7 days ago

S.Korean stocks hit 3-week high on falling new coronavirus cases

* KOSPI hits almost 3-week high, foreigners net sellers

* Korean won strengthens versus U.S. dollar

* South Korea benchmark bond yield rises

* For the midday report, please click

SEOUL, Feb 12 (Reuters) - Round-up of South Korean financial markets:

** South Korean shares climbed to a near three-week high on Wednesday as investors took comfort in the decreasing number of new coronavirus cases. The Korean won strengthened to a two-week closing high and the benchmark bond yield also rose.

** The Seoul stock market’s main KOSPI ended up 15.26 points, or 0.69%, at 2,238.38, its highest close since Jan. 23.

** China on Wednesday reported its lowest number of new coronavirus cases since late January, lending credence to a prediction from the country’s senior medical adviser that the outbreak could be over by April.

** Local stocks with exposure to China climbed after media reports here about a Chinese drugmaker's clinical test on coronavirus patients, said Seo Sang-young, an analyst at Kiwoom Securities.

** South Korea’s Barunson Entertainment & Arts Corp, the producer of Oscar-winning movie “Parasite”, surged 30% to hit the daily price limit.

** Foreigners were net sellers of 217.9 billion won ($185.00 million) worth of shares on the main board.

** The won was quoted at 1,179.5 per dollar on the onshore settlement platform, 0.18% higher than its previous close at 1,181.6, its highest close since Jan. 29.

** In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,179.1 per U.S. dollar, up 0.2% from the previous day, while in non-deliverable forward trading its one-month contract was quoted at 1,177.7 per dollar.

** MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was up 0.76% after U.S. stocks closed higher overnight. Japanese stocks rose 0.74%.

** The KOSPI has risen 1.85% so far this year and gained 1.5% in the past 30 trading sessions.

** The trading volume during the session in the KOSPI index was 623.42 million shares and, of the total traded issues of 904, the number of advancing shares was 413.

** The won has lost 2.0% against the dollar so far this year.

** In money and debt markets, March futures on three-year treasury bonds fell 0.03 points to 110.75, while the three-month Certificate of Deposit rate was quoted at 1.42% in late afternoon trade.

** The most liquid three-year Korean treasury bond yield fell by 0.2 basis points to 1.299% in late afternoon trade, while the benchmark 10-year yield rose by 0.9 basis points to 1.612%. ($1 = 1,179.0900 won) (Reporting by Hayoung Choi; Editing by Amy Caren Daniel)

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