Nikkei flat as futures buying helps offset nuclear worries

 * Nikkei trims losses in midafternoon on futures buying
 * TEPCO shares untraded on report of nationalisation
 * Mizuho Financial Group plunges on FSA inspection
 By Ayai Tomisawa and Antoni Slodkowski	
 TOKYO, March 29 (Reuters) - The Nikkei share average was
flat on Tuesday as futures buying offset growing worries about
Japan's crippled nuclear plant and the impact of the earthquake
and tsunami on corporate earnings, but analysts said such buying
may not be strong enough to improve sentiment in the longer
term.	
 The Nikkei's fall was exaggerated by around 83 points,
according to estimates by market players, as it came under more
selling pressure after the date passed for investors to receive
dividends for the current business year ending March 31.	
 After closing the morning session down 1.5 percent,
futures-led buying kicked in during the afternoon, encouraged by
gains in Asian markets, which helped trim the Nikkei's losses.	
 "Futures buying can be a short-term catalyst to help the
market. But I don't think the soured mood (by nuclear operator
TEPCO) can bring back investors' appetite so soon," said
Hiroichi Nishi, general manager at Nikko Cordial Securities.	
 Shares of Tokyo Electric remained untraded on a
glut of sell orders after the Yomiuri newspaper said the
government would temporarily nationalise it and help pay
compensation for damage caused by its Fukushima nuclear plant.
National Strategy Minister Koichiro Gemba said later that a
discussion about bailing out Tokyo Electric was possible.
[ID:nL3E7ET007]	
 "The situation in Fukushima has a big, underlying impact on
the market, with worries over the plant likely impacting Wall
Street yesterday," said Kazuhiro Takahashi, general manager at
Daiwa Securities Capital Markets.	
 Plutonium found in soil at the Fukushima complex heightened
alarm on Tuesday over Japan's protracted battle to contain the
world's worst nuclear crisis in 25 years.[ID:nL3E7ES2ND]	
 "Investors are spooked by the news report (about TEPCO),"
said Hajime Nakajima, a trader at Cosmo Securities.	
 "As long as there are concerns that TEPCO may be
nationalised, investors don't want to hold the stock. Passive
funds are selling too," Nakajima said, adding that investors
were reminded of panic selling of Japan Airlines shares last
year when it decided to decrease capital.	
 In midafternoon, the benchmark Nikkei was down 0.1
percent or 8.29 points at 9,470.24 after hitting an intraday low
of 9,317.38 in morning trade. The broader Topix lost 0.8
percent to 851.16.	
 Analysts said an immediate support level for the Nikkei is
seen around 9,300.	
 Japanese shares have lost about 7.5 percent since the
earthquake, tsunami and threat of a nuclear disaster triggered
the biggest two-day rout on the market since 1987. In
comparison, MSCI's index of Asian shares outside Japan
 has gained 2.9 percent since the quake.	
 The head of the Tokyo Stock Exchange said on Monday that
some Japanese companies, mainly manufacturers, will likely be
late in announcing full-year earnings for this business year
because of the earthquake and tsunami, which in turn would delay
the payment of dividends.[ID:nL3E7ES1ED]	
 Mizuho Financial Group plunged 5.4 percent to 141
yen in heavy trade after the Financial Services Agency said on
Monday it will inspect Mizuho Bank over its recent computer
system trouble.	
 Mizuho was the fourth most actively traded share on the
Tokyo exchange's first section by turnover .	
 But Nippon Chemi-Con Corp soared 12 percent to 386
yen after Macquarie Securities raised its rating to "outperform"
from "neutral", saying that although its earnings may be hit by
production delays due to the earthquake, it may improve from the
July-September quarter as the positive outlook for the aluminium
capacitor industry remains intact.
 (Editing by Chris Gallagher)	
 	
 	
 	
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Nikkei flat as futures buying helps offset nuclear worries