* Tepco 3rd biggest pct loser on the board
* Dollar-yen dips below 104 yen in Asian trade
By Ayai Tomisawa
TOKYO, Oct 17 Japan's Nikkei share average edged
down in choppy trade on Monday morning as the dollar is off its
highs against the yen, while Tokyo Electric Power stumbled after
an anti-nuclear candidate won a Japanese regional election.
The overall market's mood had been supported by a dollar
being above 104.00 yen since Friday when upbeat U.S.
retail sales data reinforced expectations for a December
interest rate hike by the Federal Reserve.
But the greenback dipped below the 104.00 level during Asian
The Nikkei fell 0.1 percent to 16,844.51 in
midmorning trade after trading in positive territory earlier.
"Investors' risk stances have improved since the upbeat U.S.
data, so unless the dollar falls against the yen further, the
market should not fall sharply," said Takuya Takahashi, a
strategist at Daiwa Securities.
Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings dived 8
percent and was the third biggest percentage loser on the board,
making the utility sector the worst performer.
Ryuichi Yoneyama, 49, a doctor-lawyer who has never held
office, won the vote on Sunday after a campaign dominated by
concerns over the future of the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa power station
and nuclear safety.
Major exporters were mixed, with Toyota Motor Corp
rising 0.3 percent, Honda Motor Co falling 0.7 percent
and Advantest Corp advancing 0.2 percent.
Real estate stocks and securities shares outperformed.
Mitsui Fudosan Co rose 1.9 percent, Mitsubishi Estate
Co gained 1.5 percent. Nomura Holdings gained
1.2 percent and Daiwa Securities added 0.9 percent.
The broader Topix shed 0.1 percent to 1,346.22 and
the JPX-Nikkei Index 400 was flat at 12,046.42.
(Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)