May 20, 2020 / 7:52 AM / 7 days ago

S.Korean shares extend gains on policy expectations

* KOSPI rises, foreigners net buyers

* Korean won weakens versus U.S. dollar

* South Korea benchmark bond yield falls

* For the midday report, please click

SEOUL, May 20 (Reuters) - Round-up of South Korean financial markets:

** South Korean shares settled higher for the fourth straight session on Wednesday, buoyed by expectations of policy support to mitigate the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Korean won weakened, while the benchmark bond yield fell.

** The Seoul stock market’s main KOSPI closed up 9.03 points, or 0.46%, at 1,989.64.

** South Korea said the government and the central bank would set up a 10 trillion won special purpose vehicle to directly purchase commercial paper, to calm a local debt market hammered by the pandemic.

** A state-run think-tank said the central bank should cut benchmark interest rates to near zero to support the virus-hit economy.

** Stock prices rose on expectations of policy support, but it is unlikely that they would gain a stronger momentum at current index readings, said Na Jeong-hwan, an analyst at DS Investment & Securities.

** SK Holdings Co Ltd closed 10% higher as the company’s affiliate SK Biopharmaceuticals filed a listing application.

** Foreigners were net buyers of 78.1 billion won ($63.50 million) worth of shares on the main board.

** The won closed trading at 1,230.3 per dollar on the onshore settlement platform, 0.41% lower than its previous close at 1,225.3.

** In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,229.9 per dollar, down 0.4% from the previous day, while in non-deliverable forward trading its one-month contract was quoted at 1,229.8.

** In money and debt markets, June futures on three-year treasury bonds were unchanged at 112.05.

** The most liquid 3-year Korean treasury bond yield fell by 0.9 basis point to 0.867%, while the benchmark 10-year yield fell by 3.5 basis points to 1.356%. ($1 = 1,229.8300 won) (Reporting by Jihoon Lee; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

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