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TOKYO, Feb 18 (Reuters) - Japanese stocks rebounded on Thursday after better-than-expected U.S. economic data and rising oil prices helped burnish global investor sentiment for riskier assets.
The Nikkei share average rose 2.3 percent to 16,196.80, its highest close in a week and a half, shrugging off fresh domestic data showing exports declined the most since October 2009, instead taking cues from recovering oil prices and overnight signs of strength in the United States and Europe.
Duty-free store operator Laox Co Ltd soared 15 percent after reporting a 51 percent year-on-year rise in domestic all-store sales on Wednesday. The retailer is popular with foreign tourists and investors look to its performance as an indicator of inbound tourist spending.
The broader Topix index gained 2.3 percent to close at 1,311.20 with all but three of its 33 sub-indexes in positive territory.
The JPX-Nikkei Index 400 climbed 2.3 percent to 11,850.64. (Reporting by Joshua Hunt; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier)