S.Korea stocks rise for 3rd day on easing Omicron fears, rosy U.S. data – Reuters

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

SEOUL, Dec 23 (Reuters) – Round-up of South Korean financial markets:

** South Korean shares rose for a third session on Thursday, as worries about the Omicron COVID-19 variant eased and investors adopted a more optimistic stance about the global economic outlook. Both the Korean won and the benchmark bond yield rose.

** By 0228 GMT, the benchmark KOSPI (.KS11) rose 8.67 points, or 0.29%, to 2,993.15.

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** A South African study suggested reduced risks of hospitalization and severe disease in people infected with the Omicron variant versus the Delta one, while research by London’s Imperial College also pointed to similar results. read more

** “KOSPI is gaining as the Omicron risks having eased somewhat and on optimism over the chip sector outlook,” said Park Kwang-nam, an analyst at Mirae Asset Securities.

** Chip heavyweights extended gains to a third day, with Samsung Electronics (005930.KS) and SK Hynix (000660.KS)adding 0.63% and 0.39%, respectively, while battery maker LG Chem (051910.KS) gained 0.32%.

** Micron Technology Inc’s (MU.O) on Monday beat expectations for quarterly results and also forecast second-quarter sales and profits above estimates with chip shortages easing in 2022. read more

** Also boosting the risk mood, U.S. consumer confidence improved more than expected in December, suggesting the economy would continue to expand in 2022 despite a resurgence in COVID-19 infections and reduced stimulus spending. read more

** Foreigners were net buyers of 105.1 billion won ($88.47 million) worth of shares on the main board.

** The won was quoted at 1,187.7 per dollar on the onshore settlement platform , 0.36% higher than its previous close.

** In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,188.0 per dollar, up 0.2% from the previous day, while in non-deliverable forward trading, its one-month contract was quoted at 1,187.6.

** In money and debt markets, March futures on three-year treasury bonds fell 0.08 point to 109.10.

($1 = 1,187.9500 won)

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Reporting by Joori Roh; Editing by Devika Syamnath

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