Tokyo stocks bounced back from a two- day selloff, with the benchmark Nikkei stock index surging 2.88 percent Friday as investors sought to snap-up oversold issues on fresh optimism following Wall Street's overnight rise and the yen' s retreat versus the U.S. dollar.
Local traders also pointed to encouraging U.S.manufacturing data as underpinning the market today and emboldening investors to hunt for bargains and chase riskier assets.
They were referring to a private survey by Markit showing that manufacturing in the United States expanded at the fastest pace in nearly four years in February, while a separate report said that leading indicators also suggest an economic expansion in the first half of the year.
Isao Kubo, an equity strategist at Nissay Asset Management Corp. , noted that the U.S. factory output data suggested that the world 's largest economy is in good shape, following a spate of tepid macroeconomic data that led global markets to think otherwise.
He added that stocks here were rising after falling well below target prices in the last couple of days. As such, investors could recoup losses for less and shoot for riskier assets on a favorable yen-U.S. dollar exchange rate.
With the dollar rising to the mid-102 level, export-related issues became an attractive proposition, analysts said Friday on rising prices and earnings outlooks, but some brokers noted that despite positive cues from Wall Street, trade was relatively thin ahead of a Group of 20 finance chiefs' meeting in Sydney this weekend.
Ongoing concerns about the U.S. Federal Reserve's stimulus tapering and the effects this has been having on emerging economies -- specifically outflows from emerging market's stock and bond funds, as well as currency selloffs -- will be discussed by finance ministers and central bank chiefs, with market players hoping the outcome will be enough to avert any further global stock routs.
The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average gained 416.49 points from Thursday to close the week at 14,865.67, while the broader Topix index of all First Section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange added 27.75 points, or 2.32 percent, to finish at 1,222.31.
Exporters made up for lost ground on the yen's depreciation, with Toyota accelerating 2.08 percent to 5,982 yen and Mazda jumping 2.9 percent to close at 493 yen.
Consumer electronics makers also found traction on the last trading day of the week, with Sony advancing 1.43 percent to 1,766 yen, Canon gaining 1.16 percent to 3,123 yen and Panasonic leaping 3.9 percent to finish at 1,170 yen.
Buying was also prompted on individual accounts, with mobile phone service operator KDDI jumping 2.9 percent to 5,866 yen after reports the firm will post a robust operating profit in the fiscal year ending March 2015, exceeding previous expectations.
Food and chemical company Ajinomoto was also in the spotlight after the firm announced its operating profit forecast had been upwardly revised by 47 percent for fiscal 2016.
Aeon Financial Service attracted buying, with the stock surging 8.3 percent to close at 2,537 yen, on news of a massive share buyback plan by the retail and finance firm.
Trading volume on Friday dropped to 2.07 billion shares on the Tokyo Exchange's First Section, down from Thursday's volume of 2. 56 billion shares, with advancing issues trumping declining ones by 1,655 to 83.