Tokyo stocks rose for the first time in eight sessions Thursday amid improved sentiment, thanks to overnight gains for European and US stocks as well as a steady performance for Asian shares. The Nikkei Stock Average finished at 9,524.79, up 66.05 points, or 0.70%, according to the (Nikkei) website. The benchmark index was top-heavy in the morning amid growing caution over a possible launch of a long-range ballistic missile by North Korea. Pyongyang has said it plans to launch what it claims is rocket carrying a satellite, sometime between 7 a.m. and noon, no later than Monday of next week. In the afternoon automakers and other exporters turned higher and machinery makers such as Hitachi Construction Machinery Co. (6305) widened their gains. North Korea appears unlikely to carry out the launch Thursday, but could fire it off later, which put a lid on stock prices. Trading value on the first section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange came to 1.099 trillion yen.