Nikkei surges to 1-1/2 week high on Yellen effect, weak yen
* Market continues to stay cautious on U.S. data - traders
* Insurers, exporters gain ground
By Ayai Tomisawa
TOKYO, Aug 29 (Reuters) - Japanese stocks surged to 1-1/2-week highs on Monday morning as the yen weakened after U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen signalled an interest rate hike remains on the cards this year, lifting insurers and exporters.
Speaking at the annual gathering of central bankers in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, Yellen said the case for raising U.S. interest rates had strengthened thanks to improvements in the labour market and expectations for moderate economic growth.
The Nikkei share average soared 2.2 percent to 16,721.23 in midmorning trade, after rising as high as 16,737.95, the highest since August 17.
Insurers staged a rally as higher U.S. rates would allow them to reap yield gains from their investments in U.S. bonds, while their domestic stock portfolio would also benefit from Nikkei's uptick.
Dai-ichi Life Insurance jumped 6.3 percent, Sompo Japan Nipponkoa Holdings rose 5.1 percent and Japan Post Insurance advanced 2.2 percent.
Exporters also surged after the dollar rose 0.2 percent to 102.03 yen after earlier rising as high as 102.14, its best since Aug. 12. Continuación...