Weak yen helps Nikkei rise a 10th day, its longest win streak in 27 years
* Nikkei's winning streak is longest since Feb 1988 * Nikkei has risen 5.0 pct over 10 days * Dollar's gain gathers pace on Suga's comment TOKYO, May 28 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei share average rose on Thursday, extending its gains to a 10th day as investors hoped exporters' earnings will rise after the dollar hit its highest against the yen since December 2002. The Nikkei 225 ended 0.4 percent higher to 20,551.46, another 15-year high. If it manages to close above 20,833.21 in coming days, it will be the highest closing price since December 1996. The index has risen for 10 consecutive days, the longest winning streak since February 1988. The Nikkei has gained 5 percent during the surge. The dollar soared as high as 124.30 yen on expectations the U.S. Federal Reserve will raise interest rates later this year. The dollar's surge against the yen gathered pace during Asian trade after Japan's top government spokesman Yoshihide Suga merely said excessive volatility in the foreign exchange market is not good but refrained from commenting further on currency levels. "The rises are driven by foreign investors. Hedge funds, which had not expected that the dollar would rise this much against the yen, are seen buying Japanese shares," said Tsuyoshi Nomaguchi, a strategist at Daiwa Securities. But he added that any news could trigger profit-taking and warned that investors should be cautious about the sudden turnaround in the market. "There is no such market which just keeps rising," Nomaguchi said, adding that investors will stay focused on how U.S. yields move. Automakers were in demand, with Toyota Motor Corp rising 1.7 percent, Honda Motor Co adding 1.7 percent and Nissan Motor Co 1.4 percent. Fuji Heavy Industries finished 0.8 percent higher at a record closing high of 4,727 yen as it sells more than half of its cars in the United States, many of them exported from Japan. Traders said strength in the U.S. economy, on top of the weakening yen, helped power the maker of Subaru cars. The broader Topix gained 0.7 percent to 1,672.76 and the JPX-Nikkei Index 400 also rose 0.7 percent, to 15,120.19. (Reporting by Ayai Tomisawa)
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