Nikkei tops 18,000 for first time since May 2000 Wed Feb 21, 2007 7:15pm ET28 Market View 6857 (Advantest Corporation ) Last: Â¥5,590 Change: -60.00 (-1.06%) Revenue (ttm): Â¥253,922.0M EPS: 221.98 Market Cap: Â¥1,057,104.00M Time: 7:00pm ET TOKYO, Feb 22 (Reuters) - The Nikkei average <.N225> topped 18,000 for the first time in nearly seven years on Thursday with exporters such as Advantest Corp. (6857.T: Quote, NEWS , Research) rising on a soft yen after the central bank raised interest rates but said further increases would be gradual. The Nikkei was up 0.75 percent or 133.96 points at 18,047.17 as of 0002 GMT, its highest since May 2000. On Wednesday the technology-laced benchmark shed 0.14 percent to 17,913.21. The broader TOPIX index <.TOPX> rose 0.7 percent to 1,799.77. In the previous session, the TOPIX index rose 0.25 percent to 1,787.23, the highest close since November 1991.