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Seoul up as KT

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HONG KONG, Feb 24 (Reuters) Asian shares were mostly lower on Friday following a fall in their U.S. peers, but a 10 percent surge in takeover target KT&G Corp. helped Seoul stocks inch higher.

At 0025 GMT, Tokyo's Nikkei average had fallen 0.65 percent, taking a breather after a near 2-percent rally in the previous session, as top casual wear chain Fast Retailing and No. 2 telecoms operator KDDI Corp. eased.

''Both the Nikkei and the TOPIX index are near their 25-day moving averages and as they approach these technical points, that makes it easy for people to sell,'' said Yutaka Miura, deputy manager of equity information at Shinko Securities.

In Australia, falls of more than 2 percent for the major miners BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto helped drag the key S&P/ASX 200 index down 0.62 percent.

Coles Myer Ltd. slipped 1.2 percent after the top retailer said it would pay A6 million (7 million) for the unlisted Hedley pubs group, accelerating its expansion in the A billion retail liquor market.

South Korea's benchmark KOSPI was 0.07 percent higher thanks largely to the rally in tobacco firm KT&G Corp., which said it would review an unsolicited billion takeover offer from billionaire shareholder-activist Carl Icahn and investment fund Steel Partners II L.P.

Market heavyweight Samsung Electronics dipped 0.6 percent and department store chain Shinsegae shed 1.5 percent.

On Wall Street, U.S. blue chip stocks fell 0.61 percent on renewed interest rate worries following a spike in bond yields while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index slipped 0.17 percent.

REUTERS PDS VP0720

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