TOKYO, Sept 17 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei stock average rose 1.7 percent on Thursday, buoyed by exporters after positive U.S. data strengthened recovery hopes and steelmakers on hope of rising demand, though banking shares weighed on the market.
Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (8306.T), Japan's largest bank, lost nearly 2 percent and other banks fell after comments on lending by Shizuka Kamei, the new minister for banking and market regulation, who is seen as an opponent of market-friendly reforms. [ID:nT27565]
The benchmark Nikkei gained 173.03 points to 10,443.80, a one-week closing high, while the broader Topix rose 0.9 percent to 939.52. (Reporting by Elaine Lies)

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