TOKYO, March 27 (Reuters) – Japan’s Nikkei stock average gave up earlier gains and slid on Friday, hurt by profit-taking before the quarter’s end.

Futures-led selling by players such as hedge funds and commodity trading accounts weighed on the Nikkei, traders said.

The Nikkei was down 1.6 percent after rising by as much as 0.6 percent earlier in the day.

(Reporting by Ayai Tomisawa and Tokyo markets team)