S.Korea stocks firm tracking Wall Street; rising virus cases cap gains

Credit: REUTERS/Jo Yong hak

South Korean shares rose on Friday, after Wall Street finished higher overnight on upbeat U.S. economic data and signs of progress in stimulus talks, although rising coronavirus cases at home capped gains. The won weakened, while the benchmark bond yield rose.

* KOSPI rises, foreigners net buyers

* Korean won weakens against U.S. dollar

* South Korea benchmark bond yield rises

SEOUL, Oct 23 (Reuters) - Round-up of South Korean financial markets:

** South Korean shares rose on Friday, after Wall Street finished higher overnight on upbeat U.S. economic data and signs of progress in stimulus talks, although rising coronavirus cases at home capped gains. The won weakened, while the benchmark bond yield rose.

** By 0227 GMT, the benchmark KOSPI was up 4.68 points, or 0.20%, at 2,359.73, having declined 0.67% in the previous session.

** U.S. economic data surprised to the upside, as jobless claims fell more than expected and existing home sales surged to a more than a 14-year high.

** But the sentiment was dampened after the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency reported 155 new coronavirus cases as of Thursday midnight, the most since Sept. 11 and higher than 121 a day earlier.

** Shares of POSCO , the world's fifth-biggest steelmaker, rose 2.4% after its third-quarter operating profits fell by less than expected as a rebound in the automobile industry underpinned demand for steel.

** "It seems like the market is sensitive to the (country's) daily coronavirus cases," said Choi Yoo-june, an analyst at Shinhan Investment Corp.

** Foreigners were net buyers of 21.5 billion won ($18.94 million) worth of shares on the main board.

** The won was quoted at 1,135.0 per dollar on the onshore settlement platform , 0.19% lower than its previous close at 1,132.9.

** In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,134.9 per dollar, unchanged from the previous day, while in non-deliverable forward trading its one-month contract was quoted at 1,134.5.

** In money and debt markets, December futures on three-year treasury bonds fell 0.04 points to 111.77.

** The most liquid 3-year Korean treasury bond yield rose by 0.4 basis points to 0.932%, while the benchmark 10-year yield rose by 2.5 basis points to 1.533%. ($1 = 1,134.9300 won) (Reporting by Joori Roh; Additional reporting by Jihoon Lee; Editing by Aditya Soni) ((joori.roh@thomsonreuters.com; +82 2 6936 1493;)) Keywords: SOUTHKOREA MARKETS/MIDDAY

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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