The Nikkei stock index rose 0.63 percent Friday following Wall Street's advance overnight, but gains were capped as investors took a wait-and-see approach ahead of key jobs data due to be released after markets here close.
The Nikkei 225 index gained 122.29 points to close the week at 19,435.08, while the broader Topix index of all first-section issues advanced 0.64 percent, or 9.99 points, to finish at 1,564. 16.
The market's initial advance tracked a solid lead from Wall Street overnight, with U.S. shares rising on the latest unemployment data from the world's largest economy, which showed that benefits had dropped to 268,000, 20,000 less that a week earlier and in contrast to median analysts' expectations for a rise.
While some investors opted to take profits in early trade, the market got a boost from hopes for strong upcoming corporate earnings and profit outlooks here, as well as continued buying from institutional investors like the government pension fund.
But brokers said that in later trade some investors hit the sidelines in a wait-and-see move, ahead of the release of a key jobs report in the U.S. that could have a bearing on international markets of which Wall Street will be late to react to, due to a 3- day weekend starting Thursday.
"We're likely to be in a wait-and-see mode" before the jobs report and given the holidays. "There are few reasons for stocks to move solely based on domestic reasons," said Juichi Wako, a senior strategist at Nomura Holdings Inc. in Tokyo.
With the U.S. dollar changing hands at 119.66 yen on Friday afternoon, down from 119.77 yen logged in New York late Thursday, some exporters were pressured, but Sony jumped 3.4 percent to 3, 450 yen.
The consumer electronics giant announced Friday that its plans to restructure would result in its operating profit in the business year through March next year expanding by 60 billion yen (500 million U.S. dollars).
Toyota, meanwhile, accelerated 0.58 percent to 8,426 yen, after local media reported the automaker plans to make a significant investment to build new plants in both China and Mexico.
Retailer Seven & i Holdings Co. lost ground Friday, however, losing 0.9 percent to 5,065 yen, after the firm announced a profit guidance that was less than expected.
Trading volume on Friday dropped to 1.71 billion shares on the Tokyo Exchange's First Section, down from Thursday's volume of 2. 38 billion shares, with advancing issues outnumbering advancing ones by 1,192 to 553.