Tokyo stocks rose slightly Thursday, with the Nikkei Stock Average widening its gains to more than 60 points midway through the morning session to surpass the 8,700 mark. The benchmark index ended the morning at 8,669.54, up 27.69 points, or 0.32%, according to the (Nikkei.com) website. The dollar strengthened close to the mid-78 yen range, prompting investors to buy shares of carmakers, consumer electronics manufacturers and other exporters. Toyota Motor Corp. (7203) and Sony Corp. (6758) rose nearly 4%, driving up the Nikkei average. Stocks rose despite generally low trading volumes, as overseas hedge funds bought back shares of firms with uncertain earnings outlooks. Toyota Motor jumped in response to a report that the carmaker will increase its 2012 global output to record levels. Canon Inc. (7751), Nissan Motor Co. (7201) and Kyocera Corp. (6971) also advanced. Ibiden Co. (4062) surged after it announced a share buyback plan, while Aozora Bank (8304) jumped more than 13%.