S.Korea shares close at record high on Samsung rally, U.S. stimulus

* 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, Dec 28 (Reuters) – Round-up of South Korean financial markets:

** South Korean shares closed at a record high on Monday, as Samsung Electronics rallied and U.S. President Donald Trump signed a long-awaited coronavirus aid bill offsetting pandemic-related worries at home. The won gained, while the benchmark bond yield fell.

** The benchmark KOSPI ended up 1.74 points, or 0.06%, at 2,808.60, extending gains to a third straight session.

** Trump on Sunday signed into law a $2.3 trillion pandemic aid and spending package, officials said, restoring unemployment benefits to millions of Americans and averting a federal government shutdown.

** The U.S. stimulus news outweighed worries over South Korea reporting the first variant of coronavirus linked to the rapid rise in infections in Britain in three people. The country reported 808 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday.

** Chip giant Samsung Electronics soared as high as 2.96% to a record high ahead of its ex-dividend date, while another heavyweight Hyundai Motor jumped 1.3%.

** “Despite eased uncertainties (over U.S. stimulus), valuation pressure, caution over fourth-quarter earnings and discovery of coronavirus variant at home capped gains,” said Daishin Securities’ analyst Lee Kyoung-min.

** The trading volume during the session in the KOSPI index was 977.65 million shares. Of the total traded issues of 907, only 314 shares advanced.

** Foreigners were net buyers of 51.9 billion won ($47.34 million) worth of shares on the main board.

** The won ended at 1,096.7 per dollar on the onshore settlement platform, 0.57% higher than its previous close.

** In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,096.0, while in non-deliverable forward trading its one-month contract was quoted at 1,094.3.

** In money and debt markets, March futures for three-year treasury bonds fell 0.02 points to 111.51.

** The most liquid 3-year Korean treasury bond yield rose by 0.7 basis points to 0.957%.

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