July 30, 2020 / 2:22 AM / 12 days ago

S.Korean shares hit near 2-yr high on Fed stimulus hopes

* KOSPI rises, foreigners net buyers

* South Korea benchmark bond yield falls

* South Korea benchmark bond yield falls

SEOUL, July 30 (Reuters) - Round-up of South Korean financial markets:

** South Korean shares rose to their highest since October 2018 in early trade on strong foreign investor buying, with the U.S. Federal Reserve signaling more stimulus could be on its way. The Korean won strengthened, while the benchmark bond yield fell. ** As of 01:46 GMT, the Seoul stock market's main KOSPI rose 4.43 points, or 0.20%, to 2,267.59.

** Fed policymakers stated once again that they would use the "full range of tools" available to them to support the coronavirus-hit economy. ** The U.S. Federal Reserve and South Korea's central bank agreed to renew an existing currency swap agreement with the U.S. Federal Reserve by six months to at least March 31 2021.

** Foreign investors are snapping up chip shares, and broadly, there is some relief following the FOMC meeting as well as the congressional hearing of the tech giants, says analyst Han Ji-Young at Cape Investment and Securities. ** Foreigners were net buyers of 126.4 billion won worth of shares on the main board.

** Shares of Samsung Electronics were up 0.6% after the company posted a 23% jump in operating profit in the April-June quarter on the back of strong DRAM chip sales. ** Shares of Hyundai Motor and Ki Motors were trading up 2.8% and 2.7%, respectively ** The won was quoted at 1,189.2 per dollar on the onshore settlement platform, 0.33% higher than its previous close at 1,193.1. ** In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,189.2 per U.S. dollar, up 0.1% from the previous day, while in non-deliverable forward trading its one-month contract was quoted at 1,189.3 per dollar. ** MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was up 0.49%, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average ended 0.6% higher. Japanese stocks rose 0.20%. ** The KOSPI has risen 3.18% so far this year, and gained 5.7% in the previous 30 trading sessions. ** The trading volume during the session in the KOSPI index was 340.41 million shares. Of the total traded issues of 901, the number of advancing shares was 329. ** The won has lost 2.8% against the dollar so far this year. ** In money and debt markets, September futures on three-year treasury bonds rose 0.04 points to 112.23. (Reporting by Cynthia Kim and Jihoon Lee)

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