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S.Korea stocks firm tracking Wall Street; rising virus cases cap gains

    * KOSPI rises, foreigners net buyers
    * Korean won weakens against U.S. dollar
    * South Korea benchmark bond yield rises

    SEOUL, Oct 23 (Reuters) - Round-up of South Korean financial
markets:
    
    ** South Korean shares rose on Friday, after Wall Street
finished higher overnight on upbeat U.S. economic data and signs
of progress in stimulus talks, although rising coronavirus cases
at home capped gains. The won weakened, while the benchmark bond
yield rose.
    
    ** By 0227 GMT, the benchmark KOSPI         was up 4.68
points, or 0.20%, at 2,359.73, having declined 0.67% in the
previous session.
    
    ** U.S. economic data surprised to the upside, as jobless
claims fell more than expected and existing home sales surged to
a more than a 14-year high.                         
    
    ** But the sentiment was dampened after the Korea Disease
Control and Prevention Agency reported 155 new coronavirus cases
as of Thursday midnight, the most since Sept. 11 and higher than
121 a day earlier.
    
    ** Shares of POSCO            , the world's fifth-biggest
steelmaker, rose 2.4% after its third-quarter operating profits
fell by less than expected as a rebound in the automobile
industry underpinned demand for steel.             
    
    ** "It seems like the market is sensitive to the (country's)
daily coronavirus cases," said Choi Yoo-june, an analyst at
Shinhan Investment Corp.
    
    ** Foreigners were net buyers of 21.5 billion won ($18.94
million) worth of shares on the main board.
    
    ** The won was quoted at 1,135.0 per dollar on the onshore
settlement platform           , 0.19% lower than its previous
close at 1,132.9.
    
    ** In offshore trading, the won        was quoted at 1,134.9
per dollar, unchanged from the previous day, while in
non-deliverable forward trading its one-month contract
              was quoted at 1,134.5.
    
    ** In money and debt markets, December futures on three-year
treasury bonds         fell 0.04 points to 111.77.
    
    ** The most liquid 3-year Korean treasury bond yield rose by
0.4 basis points to 0.932%, while the benchmark 10-year yield
rose by 2.5 basis points to 1.533%.

($1 = 1,134.9300 won)

 (Reporting by Joori Roh; Additional reporting by Jihoon Lee;
Editing by Aditya Soni)
  
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