Japanese stocks mixed as nuclear worries sap appetite

* Rebound from steep falls runs out of steam

* Radiation concerns keep investors on edge

* Small cap builders benefit from reconstruction
expectations

TOKYO, March 24 (Reuters) – Japanese shares were little
changed on Thursday, as their rebound from a steep fall last
week ran out of steam on persistent worries about radiation
leaks from a quake-stricken nuclear plant.

Although Tokyo stocks have recovered around 15 percent from
an intraday low hit last week, worries that damage from a
massive earthquake on March 11 and the subsequent accident at
the nuclear facility could hurt corporate earnings kept
investors on edge.

“The market has risen only because it was oversold last
week, not because of any improvements in market factors. It’s
just in line with market theory,” said Takashi Hiroki, chief
strategist at Monex Securities.

“We are unlikely to see further gains in the near future,
unless there’s an end to the nuclear crisis in sight,” Hiroki
added.

The benchmark Nikkei average was up 0.1 percent at
9,464.96, while the broader Topix index fell 0.1 percent
to 859.81 with its 200-day moving average at 871.36 seen as
major resistance.

Small cap construction companies continued to benefit from
expectations of reconstruction demand, while automakers such as
Toyota suffered from worries about disruption in their
supply chains.

(Reporting by Hideyuki Sano; Editing by Joseph Radford)

Japanese stocks mixed as nuclear worries sap appetite