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Japan's Nikkei closes above key 27,000 level as energy shares rally

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TOKYO, June 28 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei share average closed above the psychologically important 27,000 level for the first time in two weeks on Tuesday, as energy shares surged, although uncertainty over the pace of U.S. interest rate hikes limited gains.

The Nikkei climbed 0.66% to close at 27,049.47, near the high for the day. That extended its winning run to four straight sessions.

The broader Topix jumped 1.06% to 1,907.38.

U.S. e-mini stock futures also turned positive over the course of Japan's afternoon trade, to last trade up 0.47%. The S&P 500 closed 0.3% lower in a volatile session overnight.

Chinese stocks also traded early losses for decent gains, boosting Japanese market sentiment.

The Nikkei's best performing sector was energy, up 3.8%, after crude prices rebounded. No sector posted declines, but basic materials shares had the smallest gains, up 0.31%.

Of the Nikkei's 225 component stocks, 192 rose, 29 fell and four were flat.

Market participants said bigger gains would be difficult due to uncertainty over how aggressive the Federal Reserve would be in tightening policy and questions about whether the global economy could avoid a recession.

"At the end of this month and the beginning of next month, there are a lot of important economic indicators due, so it is natural to be cautious about chasing equities higher," said a trader at a domestic securities firm.

Tokyo Electric Power Company was the Nikkei's biggest percentage riser, gaining 7.21% amid a heatwave in the Japanese capital that's set to strain energy supplies.

Oil company Inpex was another top performer, up 4.88%.

Automakers outperformed, taking cheer from the recent yen weakness, which boosts the value of overseas sales. Mitsubishi Motors jumped 5.82%. Alliance partner Nissan gained 3.13% and Toyota rose 2.17%.

Uniqlo store operator Fast Retailing boosted Nikkei the most, adding nearly 18 index points with its 0.71% advance to a seven-month high.

(Reporting by Tokyo markets team; Editing by Amy Caren Daniel)

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