December 14, 2012 / 7:06 AM / 5 years ago

Seoul shares falter, snapping a week-long rally

* LG Display widens loss on profit-taking

* Pemex lawsuit rattles SK Holdings

* STX Pan Ocean riding high on stake sale talk

By Somang Yang

SEOUL, Dec 14 (Reuters) - South Korean shares edged lower on Friday, with upbeat data from China helping to narrow early losses, but still finished the week higher to notch up a fourth consecutive weekly gain.

The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) closed down 0.4 percent at 1,995.04 points, after hitting a near three-month closing high on Thursday. The index was up 1.9 percent for the week.

"China's data helped narrow the loss a bit, but the index is resting to consolidate Thursday's rapid gains," said Cho Byung-hyun, an analyst at Tongyang Securities.

He expected the index to rise well above the 2,000-mark in coming weeks as global liquidity bolsters risk appetite.

The China HSBC flash purchasing managers' index picked up in December, underlining a brighter outlook for South Korea's biggest trading partner.

Decliners outnumbered winners 410 to 381.

LG Display was a big loser, falling 3.9 percent. Shares in the flat-screen maker rose 32 percent in value between September and December, making it ripe for profit-taking.

"There is no change in fundamentals and the company's profits are set to improve. However, shares have risen a lot recently, with some investors thinking that it will benefit from Sharp's misfortunes," said Choi Do-yeon at LIG Investments & Securities, referring to Japan's troubled Sharp Corp.

SK Holdings slumped down 4.3 percent following news that unlisted affiliate SK Engineering & Construction is being sued by a Mexican oil company.

STX Pan Ocean leapt 9.5 percent after local media reported that its cash-strapped parent company STX Corp was in talks with various companies to sell its controlling stake.

Foreigners, who were selling in early trade, turned to buying for the twelfth straight session. However, this was not enough to offset selling by local institutions.

The KOSPI 200 benchmark of core stocks closed down 0.5 percent, while the junior KOSDAQ edged 0.3 percent higher.

Move on day -0.39 percent

12-month high 2,057.28 14 March 2012

12-month low 1,750.60 19 Dec 2011

Change on yr +9.27 percent

All-time high 2,231.47 27 April 2011

All-time low 93.10 6 January 1981 (Reporting By Somang Yang; Editing by Richard Pullin)

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