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S.Korean stocks end at 2-1/2-yr high on trade bloc news; won hits near 2-yr peak

* KOSPI rises, foreigners net buyers

* Korean won strengthens against U.S. dollar

* South Korea benchmark bond yield falls

SEOUL, Nov 16 (Reuters) - Round-up of South Korean financial markets:

** South Korean shares closed at their highest level in more than two-and-a-half years on Monday, as foreigners snapped up local shares on positive sentiment brought by the formation of a regional trade bloc.

** The won soared to a 23-month high, while the benchmark bond yield fell.

** The benchmark KOSPI ended 49.16 points, or 1.97%, higher at 2,543.03, its highest since February 2018.

** Foreigners were net buyers of 460.2 billion won ($415.20 million) worth of shares on the main board.

** Fifteen Asia-Pacific economies formed the world’s largest free trade bloc on Sunday, a China-backed deal that excludes the United States, which had left a rival Asia-Pacific grouping under President Donald Trump. ** Shares of Asiana Airlines Inc climbed 29.84%, Korean Air Lines Co Ltd rose 12.53%, and Hanjin Kal gained 5.66% after reports that Korean Air will buy major stakes of Asiana Airlines.

** Samsung Electronics gained 4.91%.

** The won was quoted at 1,109.3 per dollar on the onshore settlement platform, the highest since December of 2018 and 0.57% higher than its previous close.

** South Korea’s finance ministry issued a warning against disorderly currency movements following the won’s sharp rally rise.

** In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,108.8 per dollar, down 0.1%, while in non-deliverable forward trading, its one-month contract was quoted at 1,107.4.

** The trading volume was 1,222.65 million shares. Of the total traded issues of 905, the number of advancing shares was 550.

** The won has gained 4.2% against the dollar so far this year.

** The most liquid 3-year Korean treasury bond yield rose by 0.3 basis point to 0.971%, while the benchmark 10-year yield fell by 0.3 basis point to 1.624%. ($1 = 1,108.3800 won) (Reporting by Cynthia Kim, Jihoon Lee; editing by Uttaresh.V)

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