S.Korea shares extend gains as investors shrug off bleak export data

* KOSPI rises, foreigners net buyers

* Korean won strengthens versus U.S. dollar

* South Korea benchmark bond yield rises

SEOUL, Aug 11 (Reuters) – Round-up of South Korean financial markets:

** South Korean shares on Tuesday were set to gain for a seventh session as investors shrugged off a decline in exports, while a drop in U.S. virus death toll for the first time in four weeks helped. The Korean won and the benchmark bond yield rose.

** The U.S. death toll from COVID-19 fell 16% to about 7,200 people last week, the first decline in deaths after four weeks of increases, according to a Reuters tally of state and county reports.

** Investors also eyed stalled U.S. policymakers’ efforts to hammer out a coronavirus relief bill.

** South Korean shares tracked Wall Street higher as U.S. investors found some overnight support after President Donald Trump signed executive orders to partly restore unemployment benefits after talks between the White House and top Democrats about fresh stimulus broke down last week.

** Back home, investors appeared to have shrugged off data showing that exports contracted 23.6% from last year in the first 10 days of August, while imports declined 24.3%.

** Shares of Samsung Electronics jumped 2.5%, while Hyundai Motor edged up 0.3% to extend gains from Monday. ** Foreigners were net buyers of 143.2 billion won worth of shares on the main board.

** Buying by retail investors emerged as an unexpected force in current rally, as they are looking past uncertainties from the Sino-U.S. spat as well as negotiations for further U.S. stimulus, says Na Jeong-hwan, an analyst at DS Investment & Securities ** The won was quoted at 1,183.8 per dollar on the onshore settlement platform, 0.15% stronger than its previous close at 1,185.6. ** MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was up 0.98%, the Dow rose 1%. Japanese stocks rose 1.70%. ** The KOSPI rose 10.50% so far this year, and gained 14.0% in the previous 30 trading sessions. ** The trading volume during the session in the KOSPI index was 521.47 million shares. Of the total traded issues of 903, the number of advancing shares was 519. ** The won lost 2.3% against the dollar so far this year. ** In money and debt markets, September futures on three-year treasury bonds fell 0.03 points to 112.14, while the 3-month Certificate of Deposit rate was quoted at 0.73% in late afternoon trade. ** The most liquid 3-year Korean treasury bond yield rose by 0.6 basis points to 0.837% in late afternoon trade, while the benchmark 10-year yield rose by 1.2 basis points to 1.376%.

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