Round-up of South Korean financial markets:


** South Korean shares closed at a six-week high on Thursday after U.S. data suggesting easing inflation and weakening consumer demand bolstered market expectations of an interest rate cut in September by the Federal Reserve.

** The benchmark KOSPI ended the session up 22.66 points, or 0.8%, at 2,753.00, its highest closing level since April 2.

** The KOSPI index pared strength at close after rising as much as 1.6% earlier in the session.

** Most heavyweights advanced, with financial stocks being the biggest gainers after Finance Major Index closed 1.7% higher.

** South Korean financial markets were closed on Wednesday for a public holiday.

** U.S. consumer prices increased less than expected in April, data showed on Wednesday, suggesting that inflation resumed its downward trend at the start of the second quarter.

** "The stock market rose on rate-cut hopes, as all the data from inflation to retail sales pointed to an economic slowdown, but stock market strength at a time of economic slowdown is more likely to be temporary," said Seo Sang-young, an analyst at Mirae Asset Securities.

** South Korea's state-run think-tank raised its economic growth forecast for this year, and said inflation is expected to ease at a slightly slower pace, as it noted the need for gradual easing of monetary policy.

** Among index heavyweights, chipmaker Samsung Electronics fell 0.1%, but peer SK Hynix gained 4.2%, while battery maker LG Energy Solution slid 1%.

** SK Innovation fell 0.6% after media reports that it is considering selling its subsidiary SK IE Technology (SKIET) to restructure its battery business. Shares of SKIET ended 0.5% higher.

** Foreigners were net buyers of shares worth 426.4 billion won ($316.99 million) on the main board.

** The won ended onshore trade 1.8% higher at 1,345.0 per dollar, its highest closing level since March 26.

** The most liquid three-year Korean treasury bond yield fell 7.8 basis points to 3.376%, while the benchmark 10-year yield eased 9.2 basis points to 3.454%. They hit their lowest levels since early April.

($1 = 1,345.1600 won) (Reporting by Jihoon Lee; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)