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S.Korea stocks hit 3-week closing high on vaccine roll-out progress, recovery hopes

* KOSPI rises, foreigners net buyers

* Korean won strengthens against U.S. dollar

* South Korea benchmark bond yield falls

* For the midday report, please click

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

** South Korean shares rose on Tuesday to a three-week closing high, as investors focused on COVID-19 vaccine roll-out progress and global economic recovery hopes. The won gained, while the benchmark bond yield fell.

** The KOSPI closed 16.25 points, or 0.52%, higher at 3,163.25, after rising as much as 1.1% in early trade. The index closed higher for a third straight session.

** “Coronavirus vaccine roll-out and hopes for economic normalisation such as easing of (COVID-19) lockdown measures lifted investor sentiment,” said Daishin Securities analyst Lee Kyoung-min.

** South Korea has arranged to buy coronavirus vaccines for 23 million more people, the country’s prime minister said.

** The British prime minister said on Monday he would plot a cautious but irreversible path out of the COVID-19 lockdown this week.

** Japan’s stocks rose to a 30-year high as progress in COVID-19 distribution lifted economic recovery hopes, while mainland Chinese markets will remain closed for Lunar New Year through Wednesday. Wall Street was closed on Monday.

** A majority of South Korean heavyweights edged lower, though chip giant Samsung Electronics, which accounts for nearly a quarter of KOSPI’s market value, and peer SK Hynix ended up 0.8% and 0.4%, respectively.

** Internet giant Naver jumped 2.2%, while logistics and transportation company KCTC surged nearly 30% after retailer Coupang Inc filed to go public on the New York Stock Exchange.

** Foreigners were net buyers of 235.2 billion won ($213.88 million) worth of shares on the main board.

** The won ended at 1,100.1 per dollar on the onshore settlement platform, 0.12% higher than its previous close at 1,101.4.

** In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,099.9, while in non-deliverable forward trading its one-month contract was quoted at 1,099.4.

** The most liquid 3-year Korean treasury bond yield fell by 1.3 basis points to 0.985%. ($1 = 1,099.7000 won) (Reporting by Joori Roh; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

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