Nikkei rises to near 8-year high helped by Wall Street's gains

TOKYO, Feb 16 (Reuters) – Japan’s Nikkei share average rose to a near eight-year high on Monday helped by Wall Street’s gains, even as investors digested weaker-than-expected domestic growth data.

The Nikkei ended 0.5 percent higher to 18,004.77, the highest closing level since July 2007.

The broader Topix gained 0.7 percent to 1,459.43, and the JPX-Nikkei Index 400 advanced 0.7 percent to 13,239.57.

Japan’s economy rebounded from recession in the final quarter of last year but growth was weaker than expected as household and corporate spending disappointed, underlining the challenge premier Shinzo Abe’s government faces in breaking the economy free from 15 years of stagnation.

(Reporting by Ayai Tomisawa; Editing by Eric Meijer)

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