* SoftBank adds 16 positive points to Nikkei

* Samco tumbles after cutting earnings forecast

By Ayai Tomisawa

TOKYO, March 14 (Reuters) – Japan’s Nikkei ended nearly flat on Thursday after China reported a mixed bag of data that renewed concerns about the global economy, while index-heavyweight SoftBank Group offered support amid talk of an Uber-related investment.

The Nikkei share average ended 0.02 percent lower at 21,287.02 after surging to as high as 21,522.75 in the morning.

Chinese shares fell after data showed the country’s industrial output expanded at the slowest pace in 17 years, although retail sales and fixed asset investment grew by more than expected.

“Mixed Chinese data and falling Chinese shares reminded the market that concerns about a global economic slowdown persist,”

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