April 28, 2020 / 7:57 AM / a month ago

S.Korean shares end firmer as countries ease lockdown curbs

* KOSPI rises, foreigners net sellers

* Korean won strengthens versus U.S. dollar

* South Korea benchmark bond yield falls

* For the midday report, please click

SEOUL, April 28 (Reuters) - Round-up of South Korean financial markets:

** South Korean shares closed higher on Tuesday as optimism over the partial easing of restrictions put to curb the spread of coronavirus offset the slump in oil prices. The Korean won strengthened, while the benchmark bond yield weakened.

** The world’s worst pandemic in a century, which started in China in December before creeping across the globe, has forced a dilemma upon governments. People cooped up in their homes for weeks on end are growing frustrated and anxious about what the future holds.

** The Seoul stock market’s main KOSPI closed up 11.32 points, or 0.59%, at 1,934.09. The index lost 11.99% so far this year.

** Foreigners were net sellers of 125.0 billion won ($102.00 million) worth of shares on the main board.

** From Italy to New Zealand, governments announced the easing of restrictions, while Britain said it was too early to relax them there. Meanwhile, New York state will not reopen for weeks.

** South Korea President Moon Jae-in said on Tuesday the pandemic will have a greater impact on the economy and that massive job losses are his primary concern.

** South Korea reported 14 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday, bringing the national tally to 10,752.

** The country’s exports were seen contracting at the sharpest pace in nearly 11 years in April as the coronavirus pandemic caused massive disruptions to global supply chains and economic activity, a poll showed on Tuesday.

** Stocks gained after a slight recovery of U.S. oil prices and a rebound in the China markets, said Lee Won, an analyst at Bookook Securities.

** Meanwhile, South Korea’s minister for North Korean affairs said on Tuesday the North Korean leader may have missed a key holiday on April 15 because of concerns over the coronavirus, not because he is ill.

** The won closed trading at 1,225.2 per dollar on the onshore settlement platform, 0.08% higher than its previous close at 1,226.2. ** In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,225.4 per dollar, down 0.3% from the previous session, while in non-deliverable forward trading its one-month contract was quoted at 1,225.2.

** The trading volume during the session in the KOSPI index was 1,159.32 million shares. Of the total traded issues of 897, the number of advancing shares was 484.

** The won lost 5.6% against the dollar so far this year.

** In money and debt markets, June futures on three-year treasury bonds was unchanged at 111.51.

** The most liquid 3-year Korean treasury bond yield rose by 0.9 basis points to 1.034%, while the benchmark 10-year yield fell by 1.1 basis points to 1.563%. ($1 = 1,225.4500 won) (Reporting by Jihoon Lee, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

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