May 6, 2020 / 7:44 AM / a month ago

S.Korean shares end higher as many nations ease lockdowns

* KOSPI rises, foreigners net sellers

* Korean won strengthens versus U.S. dollar

* South Korea benchmark bond yield rises

* For the midday report, please click

SEOUL, May 6 (Reuters) - Round-up of South Korean financial markets:

** South Korean shares closed higher on Wednesday as upbeat sentiment following several countries’ decision to ease coronavirus-led restrictions and gradually re-open their economies outweighed worries over simmering U.S.-China tensions.

** The Korean won strengthened, while the benchmark bond yield rose.

** The KOSPI closed up 33.39 points, or 1.76%, at 1,928.76. The market was closed on Tuesday for a public holiday.

** Stock prices rose on hopes of re-opening of economies and higher oil prices overnight despite persisting worries about U.S.-China tensions and a recession, Bookook Securities’ analyst Lee Won said.

** Italy and the United States were among many nations that eased lockdowns this week. South Korea, which reported two new cases, also relaxed social distancing rules and allowed a phased re-opening of businesses.

** The country’s central bank said it is suspending auctions of U.S. dollars from the currency swap deal with the Federal Reserve as market conditions had begun to stabilise.

** U.S. President Donald Trump urged China to be transparent about the origins of the new coronavirus amid his administration weighing tariffs on Beijing.

** Samsung Group heir Jay Y. Lee, embroiled in a bribery scandal, on Wednesday apologised for the controversial succession plan and said he will not hand over management rights to his children at the family-controlled conglomerate. Shares of Samsung Electronics closed up 1.44%.

** Foreigners were net sellers of 308.7 billion won ($252.61 million) worth of shares on the main board. ** The won closed trading at 1,222.1 per dollar on the onshore settlement platform, 0.57% higher than its previous close at 1,229.1.

** In offshore trading, the won kept little changed at 1,222.5 per dollar, while in non-deliverable forward trading, its one-month contract was quoted at 1,221.8.

** The KOSPI has fallen 12.24% so far this year, but gained 19.1% in the previous 30 trading sessions.

** The trading volume was 1,063.64 million shares. Of the total traded issues of 896, the number of advancing shares was 694.

** The won has lost 5.4% against the dollar so far this year.

** In money and debt markets, June futures on three-year treasury bonds rose 0.02 point to 111.77.

** The most liquid 3-year Korean treasury bond yield fell by 1.6 basis points to 0.961%, while the benchmark 10-year yield rose by 0.8 basis point to 1.507%. ($1 = 1,222.0400 won) (Reporting by Jihoon Lee; editing by Uttaresh.V)

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