Nikkei falls 1.4 pct as index heavyweights drag on Fed concern
* Futures, index heavyweights lead declines * Market may be supported above 15,000 near term - analysts * Nitto Denko nosedives after cutting forecast * Exporters lose ground as yen bounces By Ayai Tomisawa TOKYO, Dec 12 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei share average dropped 1.4 percent to a one-week low on Thursday morning, led by selling in futures and big-cap stocks as the mood was soured by renewed anxiety of an early reduction in U.S. stimulus. The Nikkei shed 223.11 points to 15,291.95 in mid-morning trade after hitting a low of 15,288.91, the weakest since last Friday. On Wednesday, U.S. stocks posted their largest drop in a month as traders pocketed recent gains after a provisional budget deal out of Washington removed one of the near-term reasons for the Federal Reserve to keep up its current pace of economic stimulus. Traders said selling in futures and index-heavy stocks dragged on the market, with SoftBank Corp and Fast Retailing Co skidding 1.9 percent and 2.2 percent, respectively. SoftBank was the most traded stock by turnover. However, a sustained selloff is unlikely, they said, adding that the Nikkei may be supported above 15,000. "The market has priced in the Fed's tapering already, and it will happen sooner or later on the back of a U.S. economic recovery, which is good for stocks," said Shigemitsu Tsuruta, a senior strategist at SMBC Friend Securities. He said investors appear to be unloading their positions in risky assets before the Nikkei futures and options settlement on Friday. Driven by Tokyo's aggressive fiscal and monetary stimulus, the benchmark Nikkei is up 48 percent in local currency terms this year, the best among major developed markets. If the gains were to hold for the rest of the year, it would mark the Nikkei's biggest yearly rise since 1972. The Topix shed 0.9 percent to 1,239.42, with 32 of its 33 subsectors in negative territory. Nitto Denko Corp, an Apple Inc supplier, nosedived 17 percent to a 11-month low after it cut its operating profit forecast for the year through March to 62 billion yen from a previously forecast 84 billion yen, hit by weak sales of films for smartphone and TV panels. It was the fourth most traded stock by turnover. Exporters were also sold off even as the dollar gave up some of its gains against the yen to trade at 102.46 yen, off a seven-month high of 103.40 touched on Tuesday. A stronger yen erodes exporters' competitiveness abroad as well as their dollar earnings overseas when repatriated. Sony Corp shed 1.8 percent, Panasonic Corp dropped 2.1 percent and Honda Motor Co fell 1.0 percent.