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Nikkei flat as tech gains balance shippers' losses

Written by: Staff

TOKYO, Mar 28 (Reuters) The Nikkei was little changed on Tuesday, as advances in technology firms such as TDK Corp. counterbalanced declines in shipping stocks such as Nippon Yusen K.K., whose relatively high dividend yields had been attracting buyers.

Shipping firms and others with high dividend yields were hit by profit-taking. Traders buying most Nikkei component stocks on Tuesday won't be able to claim dividend rights for this fiscal year as these trades won't be settled until the start of the new business year from April.

On the other hand, investors were shifting funds into technology stocks on the view that their share prices were undervalued, said Toshihiko Matsuno, an assistant general manager of investor information at SMBC Friend Securities.

''Right now it seems to be the tech stocks that are doing well ... their share prices aren't overpriced now,'' he said.

''It's not really a novel theme, but investors seem to be putting money into stocks that have taken a bit of a breather.'' The Nikkei was down 4.84 points at 16,645.26.

The TOPIX index was down 0.16 percent at 1,691.11.

Electronics components maker TDK advanced 1.2 percent to 8,950 yen.

Advantest Corp., the world's biggest supplier of microchip-testing tools, was up 0.9 percent at 13,350 yen.

Nippon Yusen was down 1.5 percent at 740 yen, and Mitsui O.S.K. Lines Ltd. lost 1 percent to 830 yen.

Dividend yields for Japan's No. 1 and No. 2 shipping companies both stood above 2 percent, compared with around 1 percent on average for the Nikkei's 225 component stocks.

Marusan Securities Co. Ltd. -- which has the highest dividend yield on the Tokyo exchange's first section YLD.-- lost 5.5 percent to 1,844 yen. Marusan has said it would pay a dividend of 110 yen per share for fiscal 2005/06, compared with 30 yen a year ago.


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