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S.Korea stocks extend rally on vaccine hopes, stricter virus curbs cap gains

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

    SEOUL, Nov 17 (Reuters) - Round-up of South Korean financial
    ** South Korean shares rose on Tuesday for a third straight
session, boosted by hopes of a second potential COVID-19
vaccine, but the government at home tightening some
coronavirus-related curbs capped further gains. The won
strengthened, while the benchmark bond yield fell.
    ** The benchmark KOSPI         gained 5.01 points, or 0.20%,
to 2,548.04 as of 0120 GMT, after the index hit a 33-month high
in its previous close.             
    ** Moderna          said on Monday its experimental vaccine
is 94.5% effective in preventing COVID-19 based on interim data
from a late-stage trial, becoming the second U.S. drugmaker
after Pfizer         to report results exceeding expectations.
    ** But sentiment dented after South Korea decided to
strengthen social distancing rules for the greater Seoul area
amid spikes in new coronavirus cases.             
    ** The country reported 230 new coronavirus cases as of
Monday midnight, bringing the national tally to 28,998, with 494
    ** Chip giant Samsung Electronics             gained 0.3% to
hit a record high and its peer SK Hynix             was set for
a six-day rally on chip sector optimism.
    ** Shares of Asiana Airlines             surged as much as
24.8% to a one-year high after consolidation announcement with
Korean Air Lines            .             
    ** Foreigners were net buyers for a ninth straight session,
purchasing 157.5 billion won ($142.31 million) worth of shares
on the main board.
    ** The won was quoted at 1,106.9 per dollar on the onshore
settlement platform           , 0.22% higher than its previous
close at 1,109.3.
    ** In offshore trading, the won        was quoted at
1,107.0, while in non-deliverable forward trading its one-month
contract               was quoted at 1,106.8.
    ** In money and debt markets, December futures on three-year
treasury bonds         fell 0.03 points to 111.62.
    ** The most liquid 3-year Korean treasury bond yield rose by
0.5 basis points to 0.976%.

($1 = 1,106.7600 won)

 (Reporting by Joori Roh; Editing by Rashmi Aich)