March 2, 2020 / 8:02 AM / in a month

S.Korean stocks, won jump on global stimulus hopes

* KOSPI strengthens, foreigners sell

* KRW jumps 1.7% against USD; biggest daily gain since Jan 2017

* South Korea benchmark bond yield rises

* For the midday report, please click

SEOUL, March 2 (Reuters) - Round-up of South Korean financial markets:

** South Korean shares rebounded on Monday after a steep drop last week, on expectations of a cut in interest rates this month by the U.S. Federal Reserve to help cushion the economic impact from the coronavirus outbreak. The won jumped, and the benchmark bond yield edged up.

** Interest rate futures markets now see a 100% probability of the Fed cutting interest rates at its meeting this month, with the only question being how large it would be.

** Mainland China had 202 new confirmed cases on Sunday, the country’s National Health Commission said, sharply down from 573 a day earlier.

** South Korea’s factory activity shrank faster in February, as export orders contracted at the quickest pace in over six years, a private survey showed.

** Data from the trade ministry showed February exports tumbled 11.7% on a daily basis, with those to China per working day plunging 21.1%, but markets fear the worst is yet to come.

** Data on Saturday showed factory activity in China contracted at the fastest pace ever in February.

** Fears have swept across South Korea as confirmed infections spiked from 31 to over 4,200 in less than two weeks as of early Monday.

** North Korea fired two short-range projectiles off the east coast into the sea on Monday, South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said. The North appears to be continuing a firing drill that leader Kim Jong Un oversaw last Friday, JCS said.

** The Seoul stock market’s main KOSPI rose 15.50 points, or 0.78%, to 2,002.51.

** South Korea’s heavyweight Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix were up 2.2% and 4.6% respectively, on higher semiconductor shipments.

** A breakdown of trade data showed overseas sales of memory chips last month rose 9.4% from a year earlier.

** Foreigners were net sellers of 785.4 billion won worth of shares on the main board.

** The won closed trading at 1,193.7 per dollar on the onshore settlement platform, the highest since Feb. 19, strengthening 1.68% from its previous close at 1,213.7. The currency also marked its biggest daily percentage gain since early January, 2017.

** Earlier in the session, gains in the currency won were capped slightly soon after the news on North Korea’s projectiles, but overall the markets did not react much.

** In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,194.8 per U.S. dollar, up 0.5% from the previous day, while in non-deliverable forward trading its one-month contract was quoted at 1,194.3 per dollar.

** The won has lost 3.1% against the dollar so far this year.

** MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was up 1.05%. Japanese stocks ended up 0.95%, while the benchmark Shanghai composite index was trading up 3.33%.

** The KOSPI has fallen 8.88% so far this year, having lost 10.9% in the previous 30 trading sessions.

** The trading volume during the session in the KOSPI was 516.11 million shares. Of the total traded issues of 906, 568 shares advanced.

** In money and debt markets, March futures on three-year treasury bonds fell 0.06 points to 111.37, while the 3-month certificate of deposit rate was quoted at 1.41% in late afternoon trade.

** The most liquid 3-year Korean treasury bond yield rose by 2.6 basis points to 1.130% in late afternoon trade, while the benchmark 10-year yield rose by 5.3 basis points to 1.387%.

Reporting by Joori Roh; Editing by Vinay Dwivedi

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