Tokyo stocks closed over 2 percent higher on Friday, with Japan's key Nikkei index topping the 14,000 line for the first time in about two months, as an overnight surge in U.S. stocks led to heightened optimism about the U.S. economic outlook.
The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average rose 282.40 points, or 2.05 percent, from Thursday to 14,049.26, hitting its highest close since Jan. 11. The index last finished above the threshold on Feb. 27 at 14,031.30.
The broader Topix index of all First Section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange was up 31.29 points, or 2.32 percent, to 1,377.39.
Stocks gained almost across the board, led by consumer finance, real estate, and insurance issues. The only decliners were food and mining issues.
The Tokyo stock market staged a strong start, taking its cue from the overnight surge on Wall Street as better-than-expected readings for March consumer spending and April manufacturing activity helped increase optimism about the U.S. economy, brokers said.
''There is an improvement in (investors') tolerance for risk,'' said Masatoshi Sato, a senior strategist at Mizuho Investors Securities Co.
Sato said the Tokyo market boost came against the backdrop of falls in oil and other commodity prices, adding that receding ''extreme pessimism'' about the U.S. economy also helped lift Tokyo stocks.
The general mood among investors in the Tokyo stock market is upbeat for now as many investors believe the market has weathered the worst of the credit woes, brokers said.