TOKYO, Jan 9 (Reuters) – The Nikkei rose for a third day on Friday on growing confidence in the U.S. economy and hopes of aggressive stimulus steps in Europe, while Fast Retailing Co rose after reporting strong quarterly profits.

The Nikkei advanced 0.2 percent to end at 17,197.73 after dipping into negative territory earlier. For the week, it dropped 1.5 percent.

The broader Topix added 0.2 percent to 1,380.58, and the new JPX-Nikkei Index 400 gained 0.2 percent to 12,495.99.

Index-heavy Fast Retailing gained 0.8 percent and contributed a hefty 40 points to the benchmark Nikkei index after reporting strong first quarter profits.

(Editing by Shri Navaratnam)