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Asia, Forex

S.Korean shares rise for third session, profit-taking caps gains

* KOSPI rises, foreigners net sellers * Korean won strengthens versus U.S. dollar * South Korea benchmark bond yield falls SEOUL, March 26 (Reuters) – Round-up of South Korean financial markets: ** South Korean shares rose for a third session on Thursday as the central bank pledged even more stimulus, but gains were kept in check by some profit-taking and worries about the coronavirus pandemic. The won strengthened, while the benchmark bond yield fell. ** The Seoul stock market’s main KOSPI rose 11.70 points, or 0.69%, to 1,716.46 by 0304 GMT. ** South Korea reported 104 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, bringing its total infections to 9,241. ** Foreigners were net sellers of 302.3 billion won ($246.59 million) worth of shares on the main board. ** Steep jumps in the last two sessions prompted investors to realise marginal profits as they are still wary of the coronavirus risks, said Seo Jung-hun, an analyst at Samsung Investment & Securities. ** South Korea’s central bank said on Thursday it will temporarily offer an unlimited amount of money for three months through repo operations, an unprecedented move to funnel cash to money markets hammered by the coronavirus pandemic. ** The government also said it plans to loosen the foreign exchange liquidity coverage ratio (LCR) for banks for three months. ** Shares of South Korean coronavirus test kit makers surged for a second day on expectations of fast-track approval from the U.S. FDA. ** The won was quoted at 1,226.2 per dollar on the onshore settlement platform , 0.30% higher than its previous close at 1,229.9. ** In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,226.5 per U.S. dollar, up 0.4% from the previous day, while in non-deliverable forward trading its one-month contract was quoted at 1,224.1 per dollar. ** The KOSPI has fallen 21.90% so far this year and lost 23.8% in the previous 30 trading sessions. ** The trading volume during the session in the KOSPI index was 561.77 million shares. Of the total traded issues of 904, the number of advancing shares was 714. ** The won has lost 5.7% against the dollar so far this year. ** In money and debt markets, June futures on three-year treasury bonds rose 0.27 points to 111.39. ** The most liquid 3-year Korean treasury bond yield fell by 10.0 basis points to 1.046%, while the benchmark 10-year yield fell by 13.6 basis points to 1.526%. ($1 = 1,225.9100 won) (Reporting by Jihoon Lee; Editing by Aditya Soni)

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