TOKYO: Tokyo stocks closed up 0.20 percent Friday on late buying after spending most of the day in negative territory as investors await the release of a key US jobs report.
The benchmark Nikkei-225 index added 31.73 points to 15,912.06, while the Topix index of all first-section shares was up 0.13 percent, or 1.73 points, at 1,298.48.
"Investors sat on the sidelines ahead of the US employment report, but the Nikkei gained towards the closing thanks to a strong outlook for the jobs data," said Daisuke Uno, chief market strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui Banking.
The index also got a boost from a fall in the yen. In forex trade the dollar changed hands at 104.97 in Tokyo, against 104.79 yen in New York Thursday.
The US Labor Department will later Friday release its December non-farm payrolls data, giving investors an idea about the state of the US economy and, if strong enough, could provide the Federal Reserve more ammunition to further cut its stimulus programme.
In Tokyo Mitsubishi Materials ended down 1.59 percent at 370 yen after an explosion at one of its chemical plants Thursday that killed five workers and injured a dozen.
Toyota gained 0.31 percent to 6,290 yen, Canon fell 0.91 percent to 3,235 yen and Uniqlo clothing chain operator Fast Retailing added 3.26 percent to 41,100 yen. (AFP)