Round-up of South Korean financial markets:
** South Korean shares ended on Tuesday at the highest level in nearly two weeks, extending gains into a fifth session, on hopes that the Omicron coronavirus variant may be mild. Both the won and the benchmark bond yield rose.
** The benchmark KOSPI .KS11 closed up 18.47 points, or 0.62%, at 2,991.72, the highest since Nov. 24.
** Among the heavyweights, Samsung Electronics rose 1.44% following the chip giant's biggest reshuffle since 2017, while its peer SK added 2.53%.
** Investors appeared to be reassured by comments from Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top U.S. infectious disease official, that the Omicron variant does not seem too severe.
** At home, there were 4,954 new COVID-19 cases for Monday, while a total of 36 Omicron cases have been reported so far.
** Gains in stocks were limited as investors refrained from making big bets ahead of the U.S. consumer price report due on Friday that may strengthen the case for faster tapering of Fed's asset purchases.
** Foreigners were net buyers of 206.6 billion won ($175.26 million) worth of shares on the main board.
** The won ended at 1,179.5 per dollar on the onshore settlement platform , up 0.30%.
** In offshore trading, the won KRW= was quoted at 1,178.9 per dollar, up 0.1%, while in non-deliverable forward trading its one-month contract KRW1MNDFOR= was quoted at 1,179.4.
** In money and debt markets, December futures on three-year treasury bonds KTBc1 fell 0.02 point to 108.93.
** The most liquid 3-year Korean treasury bond yield rose by 0.8 basis point to 1.872%, while the benchmark 10-year yield rose by 2.4 basis points to 2.236%.
($1 = 1,178.8200 won)
(Reporting by Joori Roh; editing by Uttaresh.V)