Japanese shares end higher; Nomura plunges on flagging $2 bln loss

TOKYO, March 29 (Reuters) - Japanese shares closed higher on Monday on optimism around domestic corporate earnings and an economic recovery in the U.S., although concerns about a potential $2 billion loss flagged by brokerage Nomura Holdings limited gains.

The Nikkei share average rose 0.71% to close at 29,384.52, while the broader Topix rose 0.46% to close at 1,993,34 after turning negative during the session.

Shares of Japan’s largest brokerage Nomura Holdings tumbled 16.33%, their biggest percentage fall since November 2011, after the company warned of the possible loss at a U.S. subsidiary.

“Investors were concerned there will be more financial institutions that could be hurt by similar losses and that impacted investor appetite,” said Hideyuki Ishiguro, senior strategist, Daiwa Securities.

Worsening sentiment, Credit Suisse also said its first-quarter results could suffer a material impact after the bank started exiting positions after a U.S.-based hedge fund defaulted on the margin calls it made.

Nomura’s slump weighed on Topix the most, with Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, down 1.84%, and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group, down 1.07%, also pressuring the index.

In a bright spot, tech shares advanced, with Tokyo Electron jumping 3.32%, Advantest rising 2.6% and Sony adding 1.75%.

“Investors are buying companies, particularly manufacturers that would benefit from the recovery of the global economy, and whose earnings are set to rise in the coming years,” said Shigetoshi Kamada, general manager for the research department of Tachibana Securities.

Nikkei heavyweight Fast Retailing, an operator of the Uniqlo brand clothing shops, rose 0.86%.

The stocks that gained the most among the top 30 core Topix names were Kao up 3.02%, followed by Daikin Industries , up 2.79%.

Nikkei heavyweight SoftBank Group, down 1.71%, was one of the worst performers among the top 30 Topix names.

There were 120 advancers on the Nikkei index against 100 decliners.

Reporting by Junko Fujita; Editing by Amy Caren Daniel