S.Korea stocks drop on U.S. data but post biggest monthly gain in 3 months

* KOSPI posts fourth consecutive monthly gain

* Foreign investors snap five months of selling

* KRW gains against USD on Friday, up 1% in July

* S.Korea benchmark bond yield rises on Friday

* For the midday report, please click

SEOUL, July 31 (Reuters) – Round-up of South Korean financial markets:

** South Korean shares snapped four straight sessions of gains on Friday after sluggish U.S. data underscored the COVID-19 pandemic’s deep economic impact, but the benchmark index posted its biggest monthly gain since April on robust foreign investors buying.

** The benchmark KOSPI closed down 17.64 points, or 0.78%, at 2,249.37 but added 2.22% for the week. For the month, it rose 6.69%, extending its winning streak to a fourth month.

** The U.S. economy suffered its biggest blow since the Great Depression in the second quarter as the pandemic shattered consumer and business spending, while labour data showed the employment market was still stalling amid surging coronavirus infections.

** Meanwhile, South Korea’s factory production jumped at the fastest rate in more than 11 years in June and much quicker than expected, data showed, adding to hopes that the worst of the coronavirus impact has passed.

** Foreigners were net sellers of 86.2 billion won ($72.44 million) worth of shares on the main board on Friday. However, they bought net 1.0 trillion won worth shares in July, snapping five straight months of selling.

** The won ended trading at 1,191.3 per dollar on the onshore settlement platform, 0.26% higher than its previous close at 1,194.4. It gained 0.86% For the week, the sharpest since early June, and 0.98% for the month.

** In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,189.9 per dollar, nearly unchanged from the previous day, while in non-deliverable forward trading its one-month contract was quoted at 1,189.6.

** In money and debt markets, September futures on three-year treasury bonds rose 0.05 point to 112.31.

** The most liquid 3-year Korean treasury bond yield fell by 0.8 basis point to 0.791% in late afternoon trade, while the benchmark 10-year yield rose by 0.1 basis point to 1.284%. ($1 = 1,189.9900 won) (Reporting by Joori Roh; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

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