Japanese shares rose Friday morning as market sentiment was improved by positive US employment numbers, which showed that first-time jobless claims declined to a four-year low, according to dpa. The benchmark Nikkei 225 Stock Average gained 44 points, or 0.45 per cent, to trade at 9,751.37 at the end of the morning session at 11:30 am (0230 GMT). The broader Topix index was up 3.67 points, or 0.44 per cent, at 835.21. The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 0.22 per cent overnight after the number of people filing their first unemployment benefit claim in the United States fell to a four-year low. Japan\'s unemployment rate inched up 0.1 percentage points from the previous month to 4.6 per cent in January, the government said. The government also said the nation\'s core consumer price index, which excludes fresh food, declined 0.1 per cent in January from a year earlier, the fourth consecutive month of yearly decline. On currency markets at 11:30 am, the dollar traded at 81.18-20 yen, up from Thursday\'s 5 pm quote of 81.06-07 yen. The euro was quoted at 108.15-18 yen, up from 107.94-98 yen late Thursday, and at 1.3322-3324 dollars, up from 1.3316-3317 dollars.