S.Korea set to post best weekly gain in six, shares firm on U.S. stimulus hopes

    * KOSPI rises, foreigners net sellers
    * Korean won strengthens versus U.S. dollar
    * South Korea benchmark bond yield falls

    SEOUL, July 17 (Reuters) - Round-up of South Korean
financial markets:
    
** South Korean shares climbed on Friday, buoyed by hopes the 
U.S. may pass another coronavirus relief plan in the coming
weeks, though a global spike in COVID-19 cases capped gains. The
Korean won strengthened, while the benchmark bond yield fell.
 
** As of 02:38 GMT, the Seoul stock market's main KOSPI        
rose 15.85 points, or 0.73%, to 2,199.61. For the week, the
KOSPI gained 2.30%, set to post the biggest weekly gain in six
weeks. 

** Stimulus hopes from the U.S. is keeping shares afloat,
although overnight U.S. market falls and uncertainties about
corporate performance ahead of earnings season added to
uncertainties, says Shin Jong-ho, an analyst at EBEST Investment
& Securities.     
 
** Foreigners were net sellers of 25.5 billion won worth of
shares on the main board. 
 
** The won was quoted at 1,205.3 per dollar on the onshore
settlement platform           , 0.02% higher than its previous
close at 1,205.6.
 
** In offshore trading, the won        was quoted at 1,204.9 per
U.S. dollar, up 0.0% from the previous day, while in
non-deliverable forward trading its one-month contract
              was quoted at 1,203.5 per dollar.
 
** MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan
                was up 0.80%, after Dow Jones Industrial Average
lost 0.34%. Japanese stocks         rose 0.02%.
 
** The KOSPI has risen 0.09% so far this year, and gained 1.5%
in the previous 30 trading sessions.
 
** The trading volume during the session in the KOSPI index
        was 330.51 million shares. Of the total traded issues of
900, the number of advancing shares were 432.
 
** The won has lost 4.1% against the dollar so far this year.
 
** In money and debt markets, September futures on three-year
treasury bonds         rose 0.04 points to 112.14.
 
** The most liquid 3-year Korean treasury bond yield fell by 1.3
basis points to 0.819% in early trade.

 (Reporting by Cynthia Kim; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)
  

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