TOKYO, May 18 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei rose on Wednesday to its highest in nearly two weeks, with technology heavyweights leading the rally, after Wall Street closed sharply higher overnight on strong retail sales data.
The Nikkei share average was up 0.6% at 26,807.30, as of 0141 GMT, after hitting its highest since May 6 at 27,053. The broader Topix gained 0.54% to 1,876.84.
Wall Street finished sharply higher overnight, lifted by Apple, Tesla and other megacap growth stocks, after strong April retail sales data eased worries about slowing economic growth.
"U.S. retail sales were firm despite tightening monetary policy, which lifted the stock market. Japanese markets followed that but this seems to be a short-term rebound," said Ikuo Mitsui, a fund manager at Aizawa Securities.
"There will be concerns whether the Federal Reserve can make a soft landing as they maintain their hawkish stance. The market will remain volatile for a while."
Chip-making equipment maker Tokyo Electron provided the biggest boost to the Nikkei, rising 2.05%. Medical services platform M3 gained 2.94%. Technology investor SoftBank Group gave up its early gains and was last down 0.2%.
Game maker Nintendo was the best performer among the top 30 core Topix names, rising 2.85%, while cosmetic maker Kao Corp was the biggest loser with a 0.63% slide, followed by robot maker Fanuc Corp, which was down 0.55%.
There were 168 advancers on the Nikkei index against 48 decliners.
The volume of shares traded on the Tokyo Stock Exchange's main board was 0.57 billion, compared to the average of 1.25 billion in the past 30 days. (Reporting by Junko Fujita; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)