TOKYO, March 2 (Reuters) - Japanese stocks reversed course to close lower on Tuesday, as some investors cashed in on the indexes' sharp rally in the run-up to the fiscal year-end this month.
Investors will close their books as the fiscal year ends on the last day of March and many market participants are looking to book profits from the Nikkei's 87% rally in the past year that propelled it to a more than three-decade high.
"I don't expect stocks to enter a downtrend, but we have risen so far that it will take at least a month for the markets to consolidate," said Kiyoshi Ishigane, chief fund manager at Mitsubishi UFJ Kokusai Asset Management Co.
"The Nikkei could move sideways this month because it is right before the end of the fiscal year, but it is possible markets will break out next month."
Among individual shares, Z Holdings Corp 4689.T fell 4.82%, making it the biggest loser on the Nikkei index even as SoftBank's internet subsidiary outlined plans to invest 500 billion yen ($4.7 billion) in technology over five years. builder Mitsui E&S Holdings 7003.T , down 4.09%, was the second-biggest loser on the index, followed by NTT Data, which fell 3.87%.
There were 60 advancers on the Nikkei index against 161 decliners.
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