* Sharp down after job cuts report; sentiment remains weak * Defensives in demand, Softbank up 1.3 pct By Dominic Lau TOKYO, Aug 21 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei share average pulled back from a three-month high on Tuesday, after the European Central Bank quashed speculation about the form of its bond-buying programme to combat the region's debt crisis. Expectations that the ECB would take bold action to tackle the euro zone sovereign debt crisis have helped the Nikkei rebound 10 percent from a seven-week low touched on July 25. The Nikkei is up 8.2 percent so far this year. But the market is still awaiting further details of the ECB's plans, and there are some signs of fatigue after the sharp run-up. Investors buying into defensive stocks helped to support the market. The Nikkei dipped 0.2 percent to 9,157.20 in morning trade, but held above i ts 26-week moving average at 9,149.52. The benchmark inched up 0.1 percent on Monday, hitting a three-month closing high for the second session in a row. "The jury is out as to whether we come back after the summer holidays, we will return to the old uncertainty that we saw going into the summer holidays," said Stefan Worrall, director of equity cash sales at Credit Suisse in Tokyo. Worrall said investors would be watching for comments from European policymakers after they return from holidays as to how they would tackle the currency bloc's debt problems. Sharp Corp shed 1.2 percent after the Yomiuri newspaper said the embattled TV maker aims to cut 8,000 jobs or 15 percent of its global workforce, including 3,000 from the sale of two TV factories in China and Mexico. Traders said Sharp shares were best to avoid as the company had a long way to recovery. "People are going into defensive, domestic plays," a trader at a foreign bank said. Convenience store operators Seven & I Holdings Co, Lawson Inc and FamilyMart Co Ltd were up between 0.9 percent and 1.1 percent. Mobile operators Softbank Corp and NTT DoCoMo were also in demand, up 1.3 percent and 0.7 percent, respectively. The broader Topix inched up 0.1 percent to 765.20. The market's recent rebound had further lifted the Topix's 12-month forward price-to-book ratio to 0.85, from a four-year low of 0.8 hit in the first week of August, data from Thomson Reuters Datastream showed. That compared with U.S. S&P 500's 1.9 and STOXX Europe 600's 1.36.