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S.Korea shares close at record high on U.S. stimulus; ex-dividend trade caps gains

* KOSPI rises, foreigners net sellers

* Korean won strengthens against U.S. dollar

* South Korea benchmark bond yield rises

* For the midday report, please click

SEOUL, Dec 29 (Reuters) - Round-up of South Korean financial markets:

** South Korean shares closed at a record high on Tuesday on hopes that a long-awaited U.S. pandemic aid package would be expanded, though a slew of blue-chips went ex-dividend, capping gains. Both the won and the benchmark bond yield rose.

** The benchmark KOSPI rose 11.91 points, or 0.42%, to 2,820.51, extending gains to a fourth day.

** Major companies including market heavyweight Samsung Electronics went ex-dividend. Shares of Samsung Electronics ended 0.51% lower.

** The U.S. House of Representatives voted to increase stimulus payments to qualified Americans to $2,000 from $600, sending the measure on to the Senate for a vote.

** South Korea reported 40 new coronavirus deaths, a record daily toll, with 1,046 new infections, as the country grapples with a third wave of infections centred around nursing homes and a prison in the capital Seoul.

** The country unveiled a fresh 9.3 trillion won ($8.49 billion) package on Tuesday to support small businesses hit by the third wave of coronavirus and those vulnerable to unemployment due to the outbreak.

** Meanwhile, the nation’s export recovery likely accelerated in December due to strong chip demand, though the pandemic continued to add pressure on domestic consumption, a Reuters poll showed.

** Foreigners were net sellers of 313.7 billion won ($287.33 million) worth of shares on the main board.

** The won ended at 1,092.1 per dollar on the onshore settlement platform, 0.42% higher than its previous close of 1,096.7.

** In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,092.1, while in non-deliverable forward trading its one-month contract was quoted at 1,090.8.

** The most liquid 3-year Korean treasury bond yield rose by 1.0 basis points to 0.969%. ($1 = 1,091.7900 won) (Reporting by Joori Roh; Editing by Vinay Dwivedi)

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