Japan's Nikkei hits two-week high as energy, chip shares gain

By Kevin Buckland

TOKYO, Oct 6 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei share average hit a two-week high on Thursday, extending its rebound from a multi-month low to a fourth session, with energy and chip-related stocks leading the way.

The Nikkei .N225 ended the morning session 0.92% higher at 27,370.37. Earlier in the session, it rose to its highest level since Sept. 21 at 27,391.69, poking above the 200-day moving average at around 27,317.

The broader Topix .TOPX rose 0.79% to 1,928.08, also gaining for a fourth day and touching a two-week peak of 1,930.47.

Of the Nikkei's 225 components, 179 rose, 41 fell, and five were flat.

Some market participants expected slower gains in afternoon trade, ahead of monthly U.S. jobs data on Friday and a market holiday in Japan on Monday. The U.S. data is keenly waited for clues on the pace of Federal Reserve rate hikes.

Kazuo Kamitani, an equity strategist at Nomura, said it was likely the Nikkei would retreat back below the 200-day moving average this week.

"From a technical perspective, the Nikkei gets top-heavy around the mid-27,000s," Kamitani said. "There's a very high hurdle to pushing above 27,500."

The Nikkei sank as low as 25,621.96 on Monday for the first time since June 20.

Energy was the best performing Nikkei sector on Thursday, up 1.31% amid a rise in crude oil prices to multi-week highs after OPEC+ agreed to its biggest output cuts since 2020.

Chip shares also had an outsized influence on the Nikkei's gain, following a 0.94% rally in the U.S. Philadelphia SE Semiconductor Index overnight.

Chipmaking-equipment manufacturer Tokyo Electron 8035.T was the biggest gainer by index points, contributing 39 of the Nikkei's 250-point rally with a 2.97% advance.

Peer Advantest 6857.T added 15 index points with a 3.05% jump.

Startup investor SoftBank Group 9984.T climbed 2.8%, adding 31 points to the Nikkei, and Uniqlo store operator Fast Retailing 9983.T contributed 24 points with a 0.87% gain.

Rakuten Group 4755.T was the biggest percentage gainer, leaping 5.04% following a local media report that Mizuho 8411.T would buy 20% of Rakuten Securities.

Mizuho said no formal decision had been made. Its shares were little changed.

Reporting by Kevin Buckland; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu

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