Nikkei rises to 15-year high, helped by financial stocks

TOKYO (REUTERS) - Japan's Nikkei average rose to a 15-year high on Thursday morning, helped by gains in such stocks as financial and shipping companies.

The Nikkei was up 0.6 per cent at 18,307.25, its highest level since May 2000.

The broader Topix added 0.6 per cent to 1,491.05 and the JPX-Nikkei Index 400 gained 0.6 per cent to 13,527.00.