TOKYO, March 2 (Reuters) - Japanese stocks reversed course
to close lower on Tuesday, as some investors cashed in on the
indexes' sharp rally in the run-up to the fiscal year-end this
Investors will close their books as the fiscal year ends on
the last day of March and many market participants are looking
to book profits from the Nikkei's 87% rally in the past year
that propelled it to a more than three-decade high.
The Nikkei 225 Index ended 0.86% lower at 29,408.17,
while the broader Topix edged down 0.4% to 1,894.85.
Both the benchmark Nikkei and the Topix had gained more than 2%
"I don't expect stocks to enter a downtrend, but we have
risen so far that it will take at least a month for the markets
to consolidate," said Kiyoshi Ishigane, chief fund manager at
Mitsubishi UFJ Kokusai Asset Management Co.
"The Nikkei could move sideways this month because it is
right before the end of the fiscal year, but it is possible
markets will break out next month."
Among individual shares, Z Holdings Corp fell
4.82%, making it the biggest loser on the Nikkei index even as
SoftBank's internet subsidiary outlined plans to invest 500
billion yen ($4.7 billion) in technology over five years.
Ship builder Mitsui E&S Holdings, down 4.09%, was
the second-biggest loser on the index, followed by NTT Data,
which fell 3.87%.
Sea and air transportation sectors were the biggest losers
among the 33 sector sub-indexes on the Tokyo exchange. ANA
Holdings fell 2.13% and Japan Airlines lost
The largest percentage gainers on the index were Hitachi
Zosen Corp, which rose 4.85%, followed by Haseko
gaining 3.58 % and Nexon which added 3.12%.
There were 60 advancers on the Nikkei index against 161
(Reporting by Stanley White and Junko Fujita)