Nikkei flat as banks soften, Columbia surges

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TOKYO, Sep 28 (Reuters) Japan's Nikkei average was flat on Friday, after logging a six-week closing high the previous session, as banks lost steam after a big rally in recent sessions, while exporters such as Canon Inc advanced on a Wall Street rise.

INPEX Holdings climbed after oil gained sharply to a barrel.

Columbia Music Entertainment Inc surged 20 percent to 96 yen after saying it would hold a news conference on its acquisition of TDK Core Co Ltd, a wholly owned music and video software unit of TDK Corp, at 0230 GMT.

''It's become clear this week that the market has completely bottomed out and entered a rebound phase,'' said Zenshiro Mizuno, senior managing director at Marusan Securities.

''On the back of the bullish trend are institutional investors becoming more active and foreigners changing their stance (on the Japanese market).'' The benchmark Nikkei was up 3.56 points at 16,835.78 by 0119 GMT. The broader TOPIX index slipped 0.2 percent, or 2.36 points, to 1,612.79.

Exporters rose, with Canon climbing 2.1 percent to 6,240 yen and Advantest Corp jumping 4.5 percent to 3,730 yen.

Shares of INPEX were up 1.7 percent to 1.19 million yen.

Oil rose sharply to a barrel on Thursday as a weak dollar and supply worries ahead of the winter heating season encouraged buying by financial investors.

Bank shares softened, with Resona Holdings losing 3 percent to 197,000 yen, while Mizuho Financial Group declined 0.6 percent to 654,000 yen.

Reuters KK VP0714

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