Nikkei posts biggest daily gain in two weeks as weak yen powers exporters
TOKYO, Sept 18 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei share average closed at a new eight-month high and posted the biggest daily rise in two weeks on Thursday, with a weak yen giving exporters a boost despite disappointing trade data which showed the softer currency is not significantly buoying sales. The Nikkei share average ended 1.1 percent higher at 16,067.57 points, the highest closing level since early January. It was the biggest daily percentage gain in two weeks. The broader Topix rose 1.0 percent to 1,317.91, and the JPX-Nikkei Index 400 gained 1.1 percent to 11,946.88. The dollar hit a six-year high against the yen after the U.S. Federal Reserve on Wednesday renewed its pledge to keep interest rates near zero for a "considerable time" but indicated that it could raise borrowing costs faster than expected when it starts moving. It also confirmed its bond-buying programme will end next month. Japan's exports declined in August as shipments to the United States contracted, another sign the economy is struggling to rev up after a deep slump in April-June. A further period of lacklustre exports and slack domestic demand could force the government and the Bank of Japan to find new ways to prop up the economy. (Reporting by Ayai Tomisawa; Editing by Jacqueline Wong & Kim Coghill)
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