Japanese shares nearly flat as tech gains offset year-end selloff by funds

TOKYO, March 10 (Reuters) - Japanese shares were little changed on Wednesday, as gains in technology stocks tracking an overnight Wall Street rally offset a fiscal year-end sell off by domestic funds.

The Nikkei index was up 0.03% at 29,036.57 by 0214GMT, while the broader Topix inched up 0.06% to 1,918.79.

Nikkei rallied to a 30-year high last month on expectations of a swift economic rebound and robust corporate earnings. Fund houses are booking profits before the fiscal year ends this month.

“This is all about the move toward the fiscal year end,” said Shoichi Arisawa, general manager for investment research department at IwaiCosmo Securities.

“Pension and other funds are trying to cut their stock holdings that increased during the rally. The sell-off will continue throughout the month and this will weigh on indexes.”

Technology shares rose tracking an about 4% gain in tech-heavy Nasdaq in its biggest single-day rise since Nov. 4, as U.S. bond yields retreated.

Fanuc gained 2.58%, while Sony and Nidec rising 2.41% and 1.89%, respectively.

Terumo rose 1.83% after the medical equipment maker said it has developed a new syringe that can get seven doses out of each vial of COVID-19 vaccine made by Pfizer Inc.

Steel and mining sectors fell the most among the 33 sector sub-indexes on Topix, with JFE Holdings, Kobe Steel and Nipon Steel dropping 3.71%, 3.59% and 3.47%, respectively.

Index heavyweights Fast Retailing, a Uniqlo brand clothing shop operator, lost 0.77% and investment fund manager SoftBank Group declined 1.34%.

Top percentage gainers in Nikkei were Dai Nippon Printing , jumping 6.75%, followed by Yamaha Motor and Yamato Holdings gaining 4.54% and 3.09%, respectively.

Top percentage decliners were M3 Inc down 5.59 %, followed by Tokyo Electric Power losing 3.58% and JFE Holdings.

There were 89 advancers on Nikkei against 131 decliners. (Reporting by Junko Fujita; Editing by Rashmi Aich)