January 9, 2020 / 7:12 AM / a month ago

S.Korean stocks end higher as chipmakers gain, Mideast conflict cools

* KOSPI posts biggest daily pct gain since Aug. 30

* Korean won firms 1% vs dollar

* South Korea benchmark bond yield rises

* For the midday report, please click

SEOUL, Jan 9 (Reuters) - Round-up of South Korean financial markets:

** South Korean shares closed higher on Thursday as chipmakers jumped, and as concerns around the Middle East conflict eased. The won strengthened over 1% and the benchmark bond yield rose.

** The KOSPI rose 35.14 points, or 1.63%, to 2,186.45, its sharpest daily percentage gain since Aug. 30, 2019.

** Major chipmakers rose for a second day, with Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix adding 3.2% and 1.6%, respectively. Samsung Elec’s shares hit fresh highs since the company’s 1-to-50 stock split in May 2018.

** Samsung Elec on Wednesday said quarterly operating profit likely fell at a milder pace than analysts forecast, indicating memory chip prices bottomed out and strengthening hope of recovery from an industry downturn.

** A rally of market heavyweights contributed to the broader market’s gains, DS Investment & Securities analyst Na Jeong-hwan said. Still, it is worth monitoring situations in the Middle East for some time, he added.

** President Donald Trump tempered days of angry rhetoric and suggested Iran was “standing down” after it fired missiles at U.S. forces in Iraq, as both sides looked to defuse a crisis over the U.S. killing of an Iranian general.

** Foreigners were net buyers of 92.2 billion won ($79.59 million) worth of shares on the main board.

** The won was quoted at 1,159.1 per dollar on the onshore settlement platform, 1.01% higher than its previous close at 1,170.8. During the session, the currency firmed as much as 1157.8 per dollar.

** In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,158.3 per U.S. dollar, up 0.3% from the previous day, while in non-deliverable forward trading, its one-month contract was quoted at 1,157.4 per dollar.

** MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was up 1.4%, after U.S. stocks closed up overnight. Japanese stocks jumped 2.31%.

** The KOSPI has fallen 0.51% so far this year, but gained 2.3% in the previous 30 trading sessions.

** The trading volume during the session on the KOSPI index was 583.33 million shares and, of the total traded issues of 908, the number of advancing shares was 737.

** The won has lost 0.2% against the dollar so far this year.

** In money and debt markets, March futures on three-year treasury bonds fell 0.20 points to 110.32, while the 3-month Certificate of Deposit rate was quoted at 1.46% in late afternoon trade.

** The most liquid 3-year Korean treasury bond yield rose by 5.6 basis points to 1.418% in late afternoon trade, while the benchmark 10-year yield rose by 6.0 basis points to 1.688%.

$1 = 1,158.4000 won Reporting by Hayoung Choi; editing by Uttaresh.V

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