Nikkei edges down on stronger yen; Sharp sags on dilution fears
* Sharp, Mitsubishi Motors sag on dilution fears * Futures traders are sidelined until Nikkei inclusion changes - analyst * Machinery orders having limited impact By Ayai Tomisawa TOKYO, Sept 12 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei share average edged down in choppy trade Thursday morning as the stronger yen hit exporters, while Sharp Corp tumbled after sources told Reuters it plans to raise as much as 150 billion yen ($1.5 billion) through a public share offering. The Nikkei dropped 0.5 percent to 14,360.76 in mid-morning trade after briefly entering positive territory. The index has moved away from a seven-week high of 14,561.46 the previous day. Analysts said that weaker-than-expected Japan's core machinery orders released before the opening had limited impact on the market. "The figure was weak, but manufacturers' orders were rising," said Kyoya Okazawa, head of global equities at BNP Paribas. The monthly change in core orders, which exclude those of ships and electric power utilities, was weaker than a median market forecast for a 2.4 percent increase, Cabinet Office data showed. On Thursday, shares in Sharp sagged 6.7 percent to a 2-1/2 month low on dilution fears. Shares in Mitsubishi Motors Corp fell as much as 8.1 percent after the Nikkei newspaper reported the company plans to offer about 200 billion yen ($2 billion) in shares to the public. Topix shed 0.3 percent to 1,185.48. Analysts also said trading may be subdued ahead of upcoming events. "Investors are on the sidelines before the Nikkei futures and options settlement tomorrow and many more events to come next week," said Hikaru Sato, a senior technical analyst at Daiwa Securities. The September Nikkei futures and options will settle at the market open on Friday. Sato said that futures traders will take a wait-and-see stance until the Nikkei inclusion change was completed. From Sept. 26, Nitto Denko Corp will replace Tokyu Land Corp. Exporters were weak on Thursday after the dollar dropped below 100 yen. The greenback last traded at 99.49. Toyota Motor Corp shed 1.1 percent, while Nissan Motor Co fell 1.0 percent. Traders will monitor the U.S. Federal Reserve's two-day policy meeting on Sept. 17-18, which is expected to reduce its $85 billion monthly bond purchases.