Nikkei pares sharp losses as yen weakness offers support
TOKYO, April 16 (Reuters) - Japanese shares were nearly flat on Tuesday, supported by renewed weakness in the yen, reversing losses triggered by concern over global growth prospects. Exporters and index heavyweight, Fast Retailing Co Ltd, were among the gainers. The benchmark Nikkei average was down 0.1 percent at 13,268.52 after dropping as much as 2 percent in the morning session. "It's hard to tell which comes first but the Nikkei rebounds as the yen softens in the forex market," said Kenichi Hirano, a strategist at Tachibana Securities. "Some exporters and (the index heavyweight) Fast Retailing are leading the gains." The yen traded as high as 95.67 to the dollar in early Asian session on Tuesday. It was last quoted at 97.62 yen. Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd, the maker of Subaru car, and Olympus Corp added 2.6 percent and 2.3 percent, respectively, while Toyota Motor Corp trimmed losses. Fast Retailing Co Ltd rose 2.1 percent, contributing 28 positive points to the Nikkei. However, SoftBank Corp remained under pressure, down 6.7 percent after U.S. Dish Network Corp offered to buy wireless service provider Sprint Nextel Corp for $25.5 billion, which could trump the Japanese firm's bid for a 70 percent stake for $20.1 billion. The broader Topix index dropped 0.8 percent to 1,124.80 after ending morning trade at 1,113.16.