Nikkei falls; nuclear concerns dictate mood

 * Foreign buying still seen
 * Investors remain cautious on nuclear power developments
 By Ayai Tomisawa	
 TOKYO, March 28 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei fell on Monday as
any optimism from gains on Wall Street was dampened as concerns
about a crippled nuclear plant in Japan remained the key focus
for investors.	
 Analysts said that foreigners and short-term
investors may still be engaging in ex-dividend date buying as
well as dip buying, but domestic investors have probably already
closed their positions ahead of the end of the fiscal year in
March.	
 "There is still room to rise as foreign buying on dips is
likely to continue although trading may be directionless before
the end of the fiscal year," said Hajime Nakajima, a wholesale
trader at Cosmo Securities.	
 At the midday break, the benchmark Nikkei was down
0.4 percent, or 34.49 points, at 9,501.64. The broader Topix
 was nearly flat at 857.58.	
 Analysts added that while the market remains
sensitive to changes in companies' earnings forecasts before the
end of the fiscal year, Japan stocks are still oversold, with
the Nikkei trading about 6 percent below its 25-day moving
average of 10,062.	
 "Although investors are alert on news flows 	
related to changes in companies' full-year forecasts and 	
dividend payouts, the fundamental mood should not be that bad 	
thanks to foreign buying," said Yumi Nishimura, a senior market 	
analyst at Daiwa Securities Capital Markets.	
 Before the market opened on Monday, foreigners were seen
placing orders to buy 14.9 million shares, the ninth consecutive
day of pre-market buying.	
  Separately, foreign investors' net buying of
Japanese shares reached a record high during the week of March
14, the week after a devastating earthquake hit northeastern
Japan, Ministry of Finance data showed, and traders said their
buying would 	
continue this week.    	
 Overseas investors bought a net 891 billion yen ($11 	
billion) of Japanese stocks in the week of March 14-18, the 	
highest since records began in 2005.  	
 The Nikkei is expected to trade between 9,400-9,600 on 	
Monday, analysts said.	
 "Investors are still having a difficult time
trying to figure out which Nikkei levels seem 'reasonable'. The
9,500-level may continue to be the key level until there are
clear signs that manufacturers will resume normal operations and
nuclear power concerns are stabilized," said Yoshinori Nagano, a
senior strategist at Daiwa Asset Management.	
  JFE Holdings Inc climbed 2.7 percent to
2,427 yen after the Nikkei business daily reported that its JFE
Steel Corp will boost output of materials for temporary housing
by about 70 percent by extending operating hours at a Kobe
facility that makes lightweight steel H-beams.	
 Tokyo Electric Power Co nosedived 15
percent to 720 yen after it became clear over the weekend that
Japan faces a protracted struggle to bring the company's
quake-stricken nuclear plant under control.	
 Tokyo Gas gained 3.0 percent to 375 yen after the
company hiked its net profit forecast for the business year to
March 31 to 98 billion yen ($1.21 billion) from 71 billion yen
on a jump in demand from factories in January and February and
an increase in gas use by households due to a cold winter.	
 	
  (Additional reporting by Antoni Slodkowski; Editing by Joseph
Radford)	
	
 	
 	
	
	
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Nikkei falls; nuclear concerns dictate mood