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Japan's Nikkei hits two-week top amid jump in energy, chip shares

By Kevin Buckland

TOKYO, Oct 6 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei index closed higher on Thursday, after touching a two-week peak during the session, as markets extended their rebound from multi-month lows, helped by energy and chip-related stocks.

The Nikkei share average ended 0.7% higher at 27,311.30, after reaching a high of 27,399.19, a level not seen since Sept. 21.

The benchmark faded in the final minutes of trading, after spending most of the afternoon preserving the strong gains from the morning.

The broader Topix rose 0.5% to 1,922.47, also gaining for a fourth day and touching a two-week peak of 1,930.47.

Gains were capped by caution ahead of a monthly U.S. jobs report on Friday and a market holiday in Japan on Monday, market players said.

"From a technical perspective, the Nikkei gets top-heavy around the mid-27,000s," said Kazuo Kamitani, an equity strategist at Nomura. "There's a very high hurdle to pushing above 27,500."

The Nikkei has climbed from as low as 25,621.96 on Monday, a level last seen on June 20.

Energy was the best performing Nikkei sector, up 1.24% amid a rise in crude oil prices to multi-week highs.

Chip shares also had an outsized influence on the Nikkei's gain, following a 0.94% rally in the U.S. Philadelphia SE Semiconductor Index overnight.

Chipmaking-equipment manufacturer Tokyo Electron rallied 2.76% and peer Advantest jumped 2.91%.

Rakuten Group was the biggest percentage gainer, leaping 4.58% following a local media report that Mizuho Financial Group would buy 20% of Rakuten Securities.

Mizuho said no formal decision had been made. Its shares slipped 0.16%.

"If this deal happens, it could be a mid- to long-term positive," Hideyasu Ban, an equity analyst at Jefferies, wrote in a research note. "Mizuho FG needs to accelerate growth of its customer base (and) multiple alliances with companies that have their own eco-systems are a golden means." (Reporting by Kevin Buckland; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu and Uttaresh.V)