* KOSPI falls, foreigners net buyers * Korean won weakens against U.S. dollar * South Korea benchmark bond yield steady SEOUL, Nov 19 (Reuters) - Round-up of South Korean financial markets: ** South Korean shares fell on Thursday as lockdown measures in U.S. cities to curb the spread of coronavirus overshadowed positive vaccine news, with local infections also continuing to surge. The Korean won weakened, while the benchmark bond yield was unchanged. ** By 02:14 GMT, the benchmark KOSPI fell 8.10 points, or 0.32%, to 2,537.54. ** South Korea on Thursday kicked off two weeks of special coronavirus prevention period as country's daily infections continue to spike ahead of the highly competitive annual college entrance exam. ** New York City's public school system, the nation's largest, called a halt to in-classroom instruction on Wednesday, citing a jump in coronavirus infection rates, as the U.S. death toll from the COVID-19 pandemic surpassed a grim new milestone of 250,000 lives lost. ** Pfizer Inc and BioNTech could secure emergency U.S. and European authorization for their COVID-19 vaccine next month after final trial results showed it had a 95% success rate and no serious side effects, the drugmakers said on Wednesday. ** Coronavirus spread worldwide is definitely worrisome, and many expect pharmaceutical companies could take some time to commercialize any vaccines, which weighed down on investor sentiment, says Na Jeong-hwan, an analyst at DS Investment & Securities. ** Shares of Samsung Electronics fell 1.23%, POSCO declined 1.9% ** Foreigners were net buyers of 18.4 billion won worth of shares on the main board. ** The won was quoted at 1,110.8 per dollar on the onshore settlement platform , 0.63% lower than its previous close at 1,103.8. ** Finance minister Hong Nam-ki said the won's recent gains seem excessive and vowed to stabilize currency market as needed. ** In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,111.5 per dollar, down 0.5% from the previous day, while in non-deliverable forward trading its one-month contract was quoted at 1,111.3. ** MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was up 0.51%,. ** The KOSPI has risen 15.47% so far this year, and gained 7.6% in the previous 30 trading sessions. ** The won has gained 4.1% against the dollar so far this year. ** The most liquid 3-year Korean treasury bond yield fell by 0.5 basis points to 0.946%, while the benchmark 10-year yield was flat at 1.602%. (Reporting by Cynthia Kim, Jihoon Lee; Editing by Anil D'Silva)
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.