Nikkei drops as investors take profits on quarterly gains; tankan eyed
* For the month, Nikkei gained 2.2 pct * For the quarter, index rose 10 pct * Coming BOJ tankan survey, U.S. job data eyed By Ayai Tomisawa TOKYO, March 31 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei share average dropped on Tuesday, shedding early gains as investors took profits on the last trading day of the quarter. The Nikkei benchmark fell 1.1 percent to 19,206.99 in choppy trade after rising to touch 19,607.25 in the morning. For the month, the Nikkei gained 2.2 percent and posted its three straight monthly gains. For January-March, it advanced 10 percent, rising for a fourth consecutive quarter. "Since it was the last day of the fiscal year, derivatives investors unwound their long positions on stocks, while such domestic investors as pension funds were reluctant to buy," said Kyoya Okazawa, head of global equities at BNP Paribas. "They took profits before they make an entry again." Traders also said that investors were awaiting key economic news including the Bank of Japan's tankan survey on Wednesday and U.S. jobs data on Friday. Bucking the weakness, Fujifilm Holdings Corp gained 1.5 percent after it agreed to acquire U.S. biotechnology firm Cellular Dynamics International Inc (CDI) for $307 million. Exporters , up at the start, lost ground on profit-taking, with Toyota Motor Corp shedding 0.5 percent and Nissan Motor Co 0.1 percent. The broader Topix declined 0.9 percent to 1,543.11 and the JPX-Nikkei Index 400 dropped 1.1 percent to 14,022.96. (Editing by Richard Borsuk)
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