The Nikkei stock index inched up 0. 08 percent Thursday as late buying spurred by energy shares advancing on crude oil prices' rally pared the market's early losses.
The Nikkei 225 stock average edged up 16.01 points to finish at 19,885.77, while the broader Topix index of all first-section issues added 0.67 percent, or 10.61 points, to end at 1,599.42.
Brokers said despite investors taking time out here and there to see how the U.S. Federal Reserve and the Bank of Japan reacted to their latest respective macroeconomic data, in a bid to pick up hints about the Fed's impending key rate hike and any further monetary easing plans by the BOJ, things were in relatively good shape.
Local traders also added that the market continued to be supported by the BOJ's asset purchasing program and the Government Pension Investment Fund flooding the market with new money and scooping up issues on dips.
They said that in terms of trade today, oil linked issues and financials eventually led the market higher, but signs of overheating still remained ahead of earnings season swinging into gear here.
"Selective shares, led by banks, gained toward the end of trading. Profit-taking is still shadowing the market after the Nikkei index hit the 20,000 mark on Friday for the first time since 2000," said Kenzaburo Suwa, a strategist at Okasan Securities.
"But Tokyo's overall sentiment is not so bad as risk-on funds are still flowing into Tokyo. In the mid- and long-term, Tokyo shares should still be a buy," Suwa said.
In currency markets, the greenback was up at 119.34 yen, from 119.14 yen logged in New York, giving some exporters a boost on increased competitiveness and profits in overseas markets.
Toyota accelerated 0.43 percent to 8,309 yen, after announcing it would once again start building production hubs with one slated for Mexico and the other for China.
Japan's biggest lender Mitsubishi UFJ, helped give the broader market a boost, adding 2.76 percent to end the day at 805 yen.
As crude oil prices rose, so did their related issues, with Inpex jumping 5.4 percent to 1,489 yen and JX Holdings advancing 3. 9 percent to 508 yen.
But the scenario was reversed for air transport issues, due to the prospect of rising fuel costs, and Japan Airlines fell 2 percent to end the day at 3,850 yen.
Trading volume on Thursday rose to 2.54 billion shares on the Tokyo Exchange's First Section, up from Wednesday's volume of 1.95 billion shares, with advancing issues beating declining ones by 1, 064 to 680.