* KOSPI rises, foreigners net buyers

* Korean won strengthens versus U.S. dollar

* South Korea benchmark bond yield falls

* For the midday report, please click

SEOUL, July 17 (Reuters) – Round-up of South Korean financial markets: ** South Korean shares on Friday notched their best weekly gain in six as hopes of more U.S. stimulus measures boosted sentiment even as resurgence in COVID-19 cases cloud growth outlook. The Korean won strengthened, while the benchmark bond yield fell. ** As of 0630 GMT, the Seoul stock market’s main KOSPI ended up 17.43 points, or 0.80%, at 2,201.19. For the week, the KOSPI gained 2.37%, logging the best weekly gain in six.

** U.S. Congress is set to begin debating a relief package next week amid fresh lockdown measures in several states.

** Foreigners are buying, as earnings growth at IT companies as well as better outlook for carmakers have improved sentiment, says Chang Hee-jong, an analyst at HI Investment & Securities.

** Foreigners were net buyers of 108.8 billion won worth of shares on the main board. ** The won was quoted at 1,205.1 per dollar on the onshore settlement platform, 0.04% higher than its previous close at 1,205.6. ** In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,205.3 per U.S. dollar, down 0.0% from the previous session, while in non-deliverable forward trading its one-month contract was quoted at 1,204.8 per dollar. ** MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was up 0.59%, after Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 0.34%. Japanese stocks fell 0.32%. ** The KOSPI climbed 0.16% so far this year and gained 1.5% in the previous 30 trading sessions. ** The trading volume during the session in the KOSPI index was 560.98 million shares. Of the total traded issues of 901, the number of advancing shares was 481. ** The won weakened 4% against the dollar so far this year. ** In money and debt markets, September futures on three-year treasury bonds rose 0.08 points to 112.18. ** The most liquid 3-year Korean treasury bond yield fell by 1.9 basis points to 0.813% in late afternoon trade, while the benchmark 10-year yield dropped 3.5 basis points to 1.347%. (Reporting by Cynthia Kim and Jihoon Lee, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

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