The Nikkei average rose 0.3 percent on Thursday, with Daikin Industries Ltd climbing on an outlook lift, helping the index extend its gains despite an overnight fall on Wall Street.

Financial stocks also continued to advance, with Japan's three largest banks rising sharply after Mizuho Financial Group Inc reported earnings on Wednesday.

The Nikkei average ended the morning session up 52.53 points to 15,552.09. The broader TOPIX index gained 0.9 percent to 1,511.70.