Ex-dividend trading trips Japan's Nikkei, tech shares rise

TOKYO, March 30 (Reuters) - Japan’s Nikkei share average finished lower on Thursday after three straight sessions of gains, as a clutch of stocks traded ex-dividend, while losses were limited as technology stocks tracked overnight Wall Street strength.

The Nikkei share average fell 0.36% to close at 27,782.93 and the broader Topix lost 0.61% to 1,983.32.

“Overall, the market was affected by the shares that went ex-dividend, but it was weaker than expected, given overnight strength of Wall Street,” said Yugo Tsuboi, a senior strategist at Daiwa Securities.

Investor concerns about U.S. rate hikes have resurfaced as fears of a possible financial crisis eased, he said, adding that expectations were rising that the Bank of Japan would tweak it policy.

U.S. stocks rallied overnight, with all three major indexes rising at least 1%, as upbeat outlooks from Micron Technology and other companies eased some worries about the health of the economy.

All but five of the Tokyo Stock Exchange’s 33 industry sub-indexes fell, with oil refiners leading the losses with a 2.89% drop.

Heavyweight SoftBank Group fell 2.04% to become the biggest drag on the Nikkei, after jumping more than 6% in the previous session.

Bucking the trend, game maker Sony Group rose 2.09% and lens maker Hoya gained 1.14%.

Tyre makers were the top gainers among the TSE’s industry groups with a 0.9% rise. (Reporting by Junko Fujita; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)