December 27, 2018 / 6:21 AM / a year ago

Nikkei rallies, buoyed by dramatic Wall St rebound

* Nikkei up 3.88 pct to bounce from 20-mth low, Topix up 4.9 pct

* Energy-related shares boosted by oil rebound, techs also rise

By Shinichi Saoshiro

TOKYO, Dec 27 (Reuters) - Japan’s Nikkei share average rallied on Thursday, pulling away from a 20-month low, after Wall Street rebounded sharply from deep losses suffered earlier this week.

The Nikkei ended the day up 3.88 percent at 20,077.62, posting its biggest one-day percentage gain since November 2016. The index, which had sunk into bear market territory this week, hit 18,948.58 on Wednesday - its lowest since late April 2017.

Index heavyweight SoftBank Group advanced 4.7 percent and Fast Retailing rose 1.3 percent.

The Dow surged more than 1,000 points for the first time overnight, leading a broad Wall Street rebound after a report of robust holiday sales helped mollify concerns about the health of the U.S. economy.

Earlier, Wall Street had suffered its worst-ever Christmas Eve drop on the back of factors including turmoil in the White House.

“Japanese shares may be higher, but with market volatility so high, tomorrow could be an entirely different story,” said Soichiro Monji, senior economist at Daiwa SB Investments.

“Equities are moving up and down in holiday-thinned trade, and it would take the return of many investors next year for the market to gather its bearings.”

Energy-related shares were boosted as oil surged, posting its strongest daily gain in more than two years in a partial rebound from steep losses that had pushed crude benchmarks to lows not seen since 2017.

Petroleum product majors Inpex Corp and Japan Petroleum Exploration Co rose 4.2 percent and 6 percent, respectively. Oil refiner Idemitsu Kosan climbed 10 percent and Showa Shell Sekiyu KK advanced 8 percent.

Taking comfort from a strong rebound in their U.S. peers, technology shares also gained.

Tokyo Electron rose 3.1 percent, Screen Holdings climbed 3.8 percent and Advantest Corp soared 5.2 percent. Sony Corp was up 5.5 percent.

Information technology company Cybozu Inc jumped 12 percent after it raised its profit outlook for the year through December 2018.

The broader Topix ended the day up 4.9 percent at 1,501.63 following a descent to 1,408.89 on Wednesday, its lowest since November 2016.

All of the Tokyo Stock Exchange’s 33 subindexes were in positive territory, led by oil and coal products. (Editing by Shri Navaratnam)

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