TOKYO, Feb. 7 -- (Kyodo) _ (EDS: ADDING INFO)
Tokyo stocks made a strong rebound Friday as better-than-expected U.S. weekly labor data boosted confidence in the world's largest economy ahead of a closely watched U.S. jobs report due out later in the day.
The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average ended up 307.29 points, or 2.17 percent, from Thursday at 14,462.41. The broader Topix index of all First Section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange finished 26.77 points, or 2.3 percent, higher at 1,189.14.
A broad range of shares drew buying as investor sentiment brightened after U.S. shares made sizable gains overnight and the U.S. dollar rose to the 102 yen range in the wake of a bigger-than-expected drop in weekly jobless claims.
The data helped ease investors' nervousness over the upcoming U.S. jobs report for January, although the Institute for Supply Management's disappointing manufacturing report released earlier this week had raised worries that the U.S. economic recovery may be faltering, brokers said.
"Pessimism about the upcoming jobs report eased," Takashi Hiroki, chief strategist at Monex Inc., said. With the Nikkei falling more than 2,200 points, or 14 percent, from the end of 2013 to Tuesday, many Tokyo shares now look "undervalued," he added.
Furthermore, the European Central Bank left its key interest rate at a record-low 0.25 percent at its policy meeting Thursday, leading the euro to rise against the yen and fueling optimism over Japanese exporters' earnings outlook.
"(The Tokyo market) got a boost from U.S. shares' gains and the yen's depreciation," said Yutaka Miura, a senior technical analyst at Mizuho Securities Co. After an initial round of buying ran its course, trading became range-bound as many players retreated to the sidelines ahead of the upcoming jobs report, he added.
Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones 1,587 to 163 on the First Section, while 30 closed unchanged.
Among exporters, Honda Motor climbed 103 yen, or 2.9 percent, to 3,680 yen and Nissan Motor gained 19 yen, or 2.2 percent, to 884 yen. Mitsubishi Electric and Canon added more than 3 percent.
Sony climbed 67 yen, or 4.1 percent, to 1,691 yen after announcing a series of restructuring plans.
The electronics maker said after the previous day's market closure that it will sell its Vaio computer business and spin off its TV business, while projecting a group net loss of 110 billion yen for fiscal 2013 instead of the previously estimated profit.
Suzuki Motor rose 54 yen, or 2.1 percent, to 2,623 yen after raising its net profit outlook for the current fiscal year to a record 105 billion yen thanks to robust sales and the yen's depreciation.
Nikon surged 92 yen, or 5.5 percent, to 1,765 yen after reporting a 16 percent rise in its group net profit for the April-December period.
All of the 33 sector indexes rose, with utility, shipping and brokerage issues leading the way.
Trading volume on the main section came to 2,692.76 million shares, compared with Thursday's 2,719.98 million shares.