The Nikkei stock index rose 0.83 percent Friday after reversing early losses following the yen strengthening and triggering a selloff as concerns mounted over the situation in Iraq.
The benchmark Nikkei 225 index added 124.31 points from Thursday to close at 15,097.84, while the broader Topix index of all First Section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange finished 6.22 points, or 0.50 percent higher, at 1,243.97.
Analysts here said that the market showed resilience to Wall Street's downturn overnight and despite the U.S. dollar fetching 101.96 yen from 101.68 yen in New York, which dented some issues widely exposed to overseas markets, news from Japan's central bank helped prop up stocks here.
"There was a selloff after the yen strengthened on overseas news, but that didn't last because general conditions have improved for Japanese shares.The market will remain resilient unless the Iraqi situation gets out of control," said Toshiyuki Kanayama, a senior market analyst at Monex Inc.
Despite the unrest in Iraq nudging investors to offload risker assets including the U.S. dollar, news from the Bank of Japan (BOJ) saying that overseas economies are seeing an uptick, added support, brokers here said.
As widely expected, Japan's central bank opted to maintain its current monetary policy of expanding its monetary base at an annual pace of 60-70 trillion yen (around 590-688 billion U.S. dollars), by unanimous vote that concluded the BOJ's two-day policy meeting.
But the BOJ on Friday upgraded its assessment on overseas economies in a move economists said reflects the bank's belief that it can continue to meet its price target with out the need for additional stimulus measures. The bank also maintained its view that the domestic economy continues to recover at a moderate pace.
"The market continues to take a breather amid technical signs of overheating. "There's no reason for the BOJ to add to stimulus as the impact of the sales tax increase is fading," said Kenichi Kubo, a senior fund manager at Tokio Marine Asset Management Co.
Japan's automaker issues closed mixed on the last trading day of the week, with Toyota skidding down 0.44 percent to 5,854 yen and Honda losing 0.53 percent to 3,556 yen.
Mitsubishi Motors also closed in negative territory, reversing or 0.2 percent to 1,092 yen, following the firm announcing a recall yesterday of around 700,000 cars owing to faulty light switches. but Nissan found traction, gaining 0.31 percent to close at 965 yen.
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries added 0.77 percent to 654 yen, following reports it will jointly bid 10 billion U.S. dollars with Siemens for France's Alstom's energy assets.
Energy-related issues attracted buying Friday as the Iraq situation sent oil prices higher, and exploration giant Inpex jumped 4.5 percent to 1,635 yen, while Japan Drilling Co. soared 5. 1 percent to close at 5,160 yen.
Chip test maker Advantest advanced 3.6 percent to 1,253 yen, following a report in the Nikkei newspaper saying the firm may raise its operating profit by 3 percent to 10 percent for the year ending March 2015, owing to robust orders.
Air transportation issues came under pressure, however, on concerns of rising fuel costs as the Iraq situation unfolds, and Japan Airlines Co. dropped 2.9 percent to 5,280 yen, while ANA Holdings Inc. lost 0.9 percent to close the week at 231 yen.
Trading volume on Friday rose to 2.71 billion shares on the Tokyo Exchange's First Section, up from Thursday's volume of 2.10 billion shares, with advancing issues beating declining ones by 1, 272 to 402.