TOKYO, March 15 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei average is expected to trade in a narrow range on Thursday after the previous session's rally saw it close above 10,000 for the first time in seven months, as technical indicators pointed to a pullback. A weaker yen, which hit a fresh 11-month low of 83.83 yen to the dollar on Wednesday, was likely to offer support to Japanese equities. The Nikkei was likely to trade between 9,950 and 10,100, strategists said. Nikkei futures in Chicago closed at 10,030 on Wednesday, up 20 points or 0.2 percent from the Osaka close of 10,010. "The market will stay at around the current level after the big upside yesterday," said Takashi Hiroki, chief strategist at Monex Inc. Overnight, the U.S. S&P 500 broke a five-day streak of gains, falling 0.1 percent as investors found little reason to extend a rally that took it to four-year highs. The benchmark Nikkei ended 1.5 percent higher at 10,050.52 on Wednesday, after intraday forays above that level in the previous three sessions failed to hold until the close. However, the Nikkei's close above the upper Bollinger Bands and a bearish signal from slow stochastics suggest it could retreat from here. The broader Topix climbed 1.4 percent to 857.11 on Wednesday. The Nikkei is up 18.9 percent this year, buoyed by a run of strong U.S. economic data and accommodative monetary policies by global central banks that have sent investors back into risk assets. > Wall St retreats after rally, but Apple up again > Dollar jumps vs euro and yen on yields, Fed stance > Treasuries drop as Fed's outlook curbs safety bid > Gold tumbles again on dashed QE hopes, technicals > Oil falls on U.S. stock build, Iran eyed STOCKS TO WATCH -- SHARP CORP Sharp named the head of its global operations as president to turn around a company facing a record annual loss, the latest Japanese firm to shake up management after tumbling into the red on slumping TV sales. -- NEC CORP NEC will propose drastic cost-cutting measures to its labour union, including a temporary wage cut, in an effort to turn around its business, the Nikkei newspaper reported. -- MITSUBISHI UFJ FINANCIAL GROUP Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group eyes a big hike in overseas revenue, hiring staff in its European investment bank and lending more to foreign customers as rivals retreat, a top executive told Reuters. -- TOKYO ELECTRIC POWER CO The Japanese government-backed fund preparing to inject capital into Tepco will consider using a mix of common stock and a special class of shares that would have voting rights only if the utility fails to meet its restructuring goals, the Nikkei reported. -- KOBE STEEL Kobe Steel Ltd will buy a small stake in Indian steel pipe maker Man Industries and will jointly explore opportunities in the global steel pipe market, the Indian company said on Wednesday.