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S.Korea shares gain on upbeat U.S. data, stimulus hopes; rising local cases weigh

* KOSPI rises, foreigners net buyers

* Korean won steady against U.S. dollar

* South Korea benchmark bond yield falls

* For the midday report, please click

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

** South Korean shares rose on Friday, tracking overnight Wall Street gains on upbeat U.S. economic data and stimulus hopes, though rising domestic coronavirus cases capped gains. The won held steady, while the benchmark bond yield fell.

** KOSPI closed up 5.76 points, or 0.24%, at 2,360.81. For the week, the benchmark index rose 0.8%.

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

** But the sentiment was dampened after South Korean government reported 155 new coronavirus cases as of Thursday midnight, the most since Sept. 11.

** Shares of POSCO, the world’s fifth-biggest steelmaker, rose 4.8% after its third-quarter operating profits fell by less than expected.

** Meanwhile, a Reuters poll showed local economy likely returned to growth in the third quarter, after plunging into a recession in the previous quarter.

** U.S. President Donald Trump and his Democrat challenger Joe Biden offered sharply contrasting views on the coronavirus pandemic at Thursday’s final presidential debate, just 12 days before their Nov. 3 contest.

** “Investors are remaining their wait-and-see stance ahead of the U.S. elections,” said Hana Financial Investment analyst Lee Jae-sun.

** Foreigners were net buyers of 38.1 billion won ($33.63 million) worth of shares on the main board.

** The won was quoted at 1,132.9 per dollar on the onshore settlement platform, steady from its previous close at 1,132.9.

** The currency gained 1.3% on a weekly basis, extending gains to a fourth week.

** In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,132.7 per dollar, while in non-deliverable forward trading its one-month contract was quoted at 1,132.7.

** The most liquid 3-year Korean treasury bond yield fell by 1.9 basis points to 0.909%.

$1 = 1,132.8100 won Reporting by Joori Roh; Additional reporting by Jihoon Lee; Editing by Rashmi Aich

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