The Nikkei stock index rose 0.44 percent Monday as earlier losses on the yen's firmness against the U.S. dollar were canceled out by solid performances on other Asian bourses
The Nikkei 225 index rose 67.10 points to finish at 15,162.10, while the broader Topix index of all first-section issues gained 9. 41 points, or 0.75 percent, to close at 1,262.56.
Local brokers said that the market got off to a good start, tracking gains made on the Wall Street Friday, but the index slipped into negative territory as less-than-impressive industrial production data and the yen's rise against the U.S. dollar soured the market mood.
Although Japan's industrial production edged up to a seasonally adjusted 0.5 percent in May from the previous month, marking the first increase in two months, according to the government's latest statistics, analysts here said that following a 2.8 percent drop in April and projected 0.7 fall in June, median forecasts for a 0.9 percent increase in May were missed, and pointed to slumping domestic demand due to the April tax hike and slowing international demand, particularly from emerging economies.
With the dollar fetching 101.34 yen in currency markets in Tokyo this afternoon, compared to 101.45 yen logged in New York on Friday afternoon, some tech and export-related issues took a hit, as they rely on a weaker yen to boost profits when repatriated from overseas.
But despite the yen's rise, the index turned positive in later trade, owing to robust performances on other Asian bourses.
"The Tokyo market was inspired by robust performances in other Asian bourses including India," said Hiroaki Hiwada, a strategist at Toyo Securities Co.
Hiwada was referring to China, South Korea, India and other Asian nation's major bourses showing significant gains throughout the day, enough to send issues here higher.
Toyota accelerated 0.59 percent to 6,084 yen, while Nissan gained 0.20 percent to 961 yen.
Consumer electronics giant Panasonic advanced 0.65 percent to 1, 234 yen, while larger rival Sony gained 0.17 percent to 1,682 yen.
But it was Japan's consumer-finance firms that comprised the day's biggest gaining sector, following reports that the government will allow higher interest rates to be levied on personal loans.
As such, Acom surged 16 percent to 482 yen and Aiful Corp. jumped 11 percent to 653 yen. Orient Corp., meanwhile, rose 3.8 percent to finish the day at 273 yen.
Nippon Paper, was another winner on today's market, rising 1.2 percent to 1,906 yen, following the Nikkei saying the firm's operating profit for the first quarter is likely to be about 6.5 billion yen (around 64 million U.S. dollars), and the firm will likely maintain its full-year forecast of 40 billion yen.
Tokyo Gas gained 2.4 percent to 592 yen, following news on Friday it will retire up to 2.81 percent of its outstanding shares and Ajinomoto added 1.6 percent to 1,588 yen, after the Nikkei business daily said the firm has made a move to acquire Wild Flavors of Switzerland for about 300 billion yen.
Trading volume on Monday dropped to 2.10 billion shares on the Tokyo Exchange's First Section, down from Friday's volume of 2.51 billion shares, with advancing issues outnumbering declining ones by 1,568 to 178.