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Seoul: Shares set to snap 7-session rally; won slips

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[SEOUL] South Korean shares wound back from a five-month high early on Friday, as it shadowed its Asian peers amid poor risk appetite sparked by a fall in oil prices that also sent Wall Street down.

The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) fell 0.2 per cent to 1,988.27 points as of 0232 GMT, set to snap a seven-day rally, while the South Korean won also slipped 0.3 per cent against the dollar on weak investor sentiment.

"Local stocks will post a small fall on Friday as investors pull back from risky assets on oil price declines while foreigners are expected to cap the slip in share prices ahead of further easing by the European Central Bank," said analysts at the Industrial Bank of Korea in a research note for clients.

Bank dealers in Seoul said the local currency might receive a boost during the session by exporters selling dollars for month-end contracts.

Crude oil futures had fallen sharply on Thursday as rising inventories in the United States pressured Brent and US contracts and undermined expectations for recovering demand.

Foreigners were net buyers of 25.2 billion won (US$22.91 million) worth of South Korean stocks early in the session, while institutions dumped a net 144.3 billion won worth.

Shares in latex product maker Unidus Corp sharply rallied for a second day, up more than 11 per cent after South Korea's highest court on Thursday struck down as unconstitutional a law banning adultery.

Kumho Industrial Co shares rose more than 4 per cent after rallying on Thursday as the process for the sale of a controlling stake in Kumho, which is Asiana Airlines Inc's parent firm, continues.

March futures on three-year treasury bonds edged down 0.02 points to trade at 108.50.

REUTERS