Japan's Nikkei almost flat, paring earlier gains

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TOKYO, Oct 10 (Reuters) Japan's Nikkei stock average ended almost flat after erasing earlier gains as investors sold Toyota Motor Corp and Olympus Corp, offsetting a rise in retail shares.

Olympus Corp lost 2.8 percent, becoming one of the biggest drags on the market, after JP Morgan cut its rating on the maker of digital cameras and medical equipment to ''neutral'' from ''overweight.'' The benchmark Nikkei was up 0.1 percent or 17.99 points at 17,177.89. The broader TOPIX index was down 0.1 percent at 1,658.18, after rising as much as 0.7 percent immediately after the open.

REUTERS SBA SSC1235

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