Japan's Topix falls as shares go ex-dividend; Nikkei gains

TOKYO, March 30 (Reuters) - Japan’s Topix ended lower on Tuesday, dragged down by stocks that went ex-dividend, while the Nikkei inched up as investors bought back the benchmark after its underperformance against Topix following the Bank of Japan’s decision to only buy Topix-linked exchange traded funds.

The Topix lost 0.78% to close at 1,977.86, while the Nikkei index snapped early losses to inch up 0.16% to end at 29,432.70.

“Overall the market was affected by the shares that went ex-dividend,” said Koichi Kurose, chief strategist, Resona Asset Management.

“Investors who have bought the Topix since the Bank of Japan’s announcement earlier this month to only buy the Topix-linked ETFs are now selling those and buying back the Nikkei.”

Topix heavyweights automaker Toyota Motor fell 1.22%, while mobile phone operator KDDI lost 3.11%. Nikkei heavyweight Uniqlo clothing shop operator Fast Retailing jumped 3.17%.

The banking and securities sectors retreated amid fears that global banks could lose more than $6 billion from the downfall of Archegos Capital.

Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group fell 0.49%, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group and Mizuho Financial Group slipped 0.96%, respectively.

Nomura Holdings, which plunged 16% on Monday after it flagged $2 billion in losses at a U.S. subsidiary, lost 0.66%.

The airline and shipping industry gained the most among the 33 sector sub-indexes on the Tokyo exchange, with ANA Holdings jumping 3.49% and Japan Airlines rising 2.53%. Kawasaki Kisen jumped 5.19% and Nippon Yusen gained 3.61%.

J.Front Retailing Co, up 5.24%, was the top gainer on the Nikkei index, followed by Kawasaki Kisen and CyberAgent Inc, up 4.04%.

Japan Post Holdings, down 6.41 %, was the largest percentage loser on the Nikkei, followed by KDDI, and Sumitomo Corp down 3.06%.

There were 89 advancers on the Nikkei index against 128 decliners. (Reporting by Junko Fujita; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)