* Hitachi Koki soars on report Hitachi may sell company
* Mining shares outperform after oil rises previous day
By Ayai Tomisawa
TOKYO, Dec 28 Japan's Nikkei share average was
flat on Wednesday morning in thin end-of-year trade, while
Toshiba Corp tumbled 20 percent on continued concerns
about posting a big special loss.
The Nikkei was barely changed at 19,401.70 in
midmorning trade, after opening slightly lower.
Traders said that the Japanese stock market will likely stay
directionless from here and is expected to end the year around
the current level.
"Most foreign investors and institutional investors are on
the sidelines now," said Takuya Takahashi, a strategist at Daiwa
Takahashi said that attention would be on news of
individual developments such as Toshiba, which is diving again
on loss worries, as well as Hitachi Koki Co, which is
soaring on a media report that Hitachi Ltd is
considering selling the company to KKR & Co.
Toshiba stumbled the 20 percent daily limit, extending its
fall from the previous day after the company said it may have to
book several billion dollars in charges related to its
acquisition of a U.S. nuclear power business.
Hitachi Koki soared 15 percent after the Nikkei newspaper
reported that negotiations between Hitachi and U.S. private
equity firm KKR were in the final stages and that an official
agreement could be reached next month.
Inpex Corp rose 1.3 percent and Japan Petroleum
Exploration gained 1.7 percent. Oil gained 1.5 percent
Tuesday, before edging down in Wednesday Asian trade.
The broader Topix was flat at 1,535.71 and the
JPX-Nikkei Index 400 was also flat at 13,774.02.
(Reporting by Ayai Tomisawa; Editing by Eric Meijer)