Tokyo - Tokyo stocks closed flat on Thursday as the Bank of Japan upgraded its assessment of the world's number three economy, with the yen holding firm during most of the trading session.
The benchmark Nikkei 225 index edged up 10.95 points to 14,064.82, while the Topix index of all first-section shares added 0.13 percent, or 1.54 points, to 1,157.84.
The slight gains came after the central bank revised upward its assessment of the Japanese economy, saying recovery was firmly underway as Tokyo works to reverse years of lumbering growth.
The greenback slipped to 99.62 yen in Thursday afternoon trading from 99.74 yen in New York Wednesday.
In New York, investors were cheered on Wednesday by data showing double-digit growth in auto sales for car giants GM, Toyota, Ford and Chrysler in August.
Adding to buying sentiment was the Federal Reserve's Beige Book assessment of the US economy, which said growth since July had been “modest to moderate”. It showed consumer spending and manufacturing was up while job creation was steady or improving.
“The US Fed's 'beige book' was reassuring for investors who continue to harbour doubts about the pace and quality of the economic recovery,” said SMBC Nikko Securities general manager of equities Hiroichi Nishi.
However, gains were capped by lingering concerns over the prospects of a US-led military strike on Syria.
In Tokyo share trading, Toyota rose 0.32 percent to 6,250 yen and Nissan was up 0.59 percent at 1,019 yen.
Sony gained 0.82 percent to 2,076 yen while camera maker Olympus added 2.21 percent to 2,860 yen. - Sapa-AFP