Tokyo stocks closed higher Wednesday as optimism over the U.S. economic outlook and the U.S. dollar's strength against the yen during a four-day holiday in Japan spurred buying.
The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average gained 53.22 points, or 0.38 percent, from Friday to 14,102.48. The broader Topix index of all First Section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange was up 15.89 points, or 1.15 percent, to 1,393.28.
Japanese financial markets were closed Monday and Tuesday for the Golden Week national holidays.
Gainers were led by mining, oil and coal products, and trading house issues, while major losers included air transport and insurance issues.
Brokers said trading on the Tokyo market started on a positive note with investors heartened by overnight gains on Wall Street, backed partly by recent better-than-expected U.S. economic readings including closely watched jobs data released last Friday.
Although Japan's Nikkei index dipped into negative territory in the early afternoon due to a fall in Asian equities, it soon reversed losses to climb back into positive territory.
''The Tokyo stock market got a boost from (positive factors in) the external environment such as U.S. economic figures, which were stronger than market expectations,'' said Kazuhiro Takahashi, general manager of the equity marketing department at Daiwa Securities SMBC Co.
The U.S. Labor Department said Friday that the U.S. economy lost 20,000 nonfarm jobs in April for the fourth straight month of decline, but the figure was well below the 75,000 widely expected by analysts and market participants.
Investor sentiment was also brightened by the U.S. dollar's firmness against the yen in the upper 104 yen range, brokers said.