TOKYO , Feb. 6 -- ( Kyodo ) _ Tokyo stocks rose slightly Thursday morning on bargain-hunting following recent sharp losses in quiet trading ahead of a closely-watched U.S. jobs report due out Friday. The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average gained 42.29 points, or 0.30 percent, from Wednesday to 14,222.67. The broader Topix index of all First Section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange was up 0.66 points, or 0.06 percent, to 1,163.30. The Tokyo market opened higher as bargain-hunting investors purchased recently battered shares. By Tuesday, the Nikkei had fallen more than 2,200 points, or 14 percent, since the end of 2013, due partly to worries over emerging market turmoil and a slowing of U.S. and Chinese economic growth. But the Tokyo market's rebound lacked vigor. After the Nikkei rose about 130 points at one point, its upward momentum fizzled and briefly fell into negative territory before ending the morning slightly higher from the previous day's closing level. Market players are expected to keep close tabs on U.S. employment data for January, as recent soft U.S. economic data has fueled worries about whether the world's largest economy is strong enough to withstand continuing cuts in its monetary stimulus. "With a U.S. jobs report due out Friday, trading will likely be range-bound for today," said Ayako Terada at Nomura Securities Co.'s investment research department. Terada said recent soft readings of U.S. economic data are due partly to temporary factors such as bad weather conditions. "If (market players) will be able to confirm the U.S. economy is on a solid footing with a good reading of the employment report, it will provide an opportunity for financial markets to recover their composure," she added. On the First Section, advancing issues outnumbered declining ones 1,064 to 617, while 98 finished the morning unchanged. By sector, paper and pulp, information and communication, and wholesale issues drew buying while shipping, rubber and banking shares lost ground. Mazda Motor surged 20 yen or 4.3 percent to 485 yen after the automaker said it will resume dividend payout for the first time since fiscal 2009 as it raised its fiscal 2013 group net profit estimate to a record 110 billion yen . On the other hand, eyewear maker JIN slumped by its daily-limit of 700 yen or 20.9 percent to 2,645 after lowering its net profit projection for the current fiscal year by about 70 percent and cutting its dividend payout plan.
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