February 26, 2018 / 1:50 AM / 7 months ago

Japan's Nikkei rises to near 3-week high, most sectors advance

TOKYO, Feb 26 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei share average rose to near three-week highs on Monday, with a majority of sectors advancing as investor confidence continued to improve after Wall Street shares made steady gains.

The Nikkei rose 1.2 percent to 22,142.02 points by midmorning, after earlier touching 22,226.53, highest since Feb. 7.

The benchmark index had gained 0.8 percent the following week.

Exporters were buoyed as the yen's surge against the dollar seen earlier in the month lost some momentum.

Toyota Motor Corp rose 0.6 percent, Tokyo Electron added 1.4 percent and Bridgestone Corp gained 0.3 percent.

Of Tokyo's 33 sub-indexes, 31 gained, led by pharmaceuticals and precision machinery.

However, market gains were limited by caution ahead of new Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell's semi-annual Congressional testimony starting on Tuesday. Investors will be looking for clues on his views on monetary policy at a time when equity markets are fretting over rising U.S. yields and the risks of faster-than-expected interest rate rises.

The broader Topix was 0.8 percent higher at 1,774.70. (Reporting by the Tokyo markets team; Editing by Kim Coghill)

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