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Tokyo - Tokyo stocks jumped 2.88 percent Friday, clawing back losses from the previous day as Wall Street rallied and shares of Japanese exporters got a boost from the weaker yen.
The Nikkei-225 index, which fell 2.15 percent Thursday, added 416.49 points to finish at 14,865.67.
It briefly rose more than 3.0 percent in late trade.
The broader Topix index of all first-section shares rose 2.32 percent, or 27.75 points, to 1,222.31.
Investors dived back into Tokyo shares after the market turned down Thursday on disappointing data, including weak Chinese manufacturing figures that dented confidence in the strength of the global economy.
Bargain hunting stoked Friday's gains with the market boosted by a weakening yen, a plus for Japanese exporters as it makes them more competitive abroad and inflates repatriated overseas profits.
“Discouraging external data has been responsible for the lack of buying support for Japan shares over the last several weeks,” said Mutsumi Kagawa, senior global strategist at Tokai Tokyo Research Center.
“Investors are most keen to know whether the recent apparent lull in the US economic recovery is really due to data skewed by bad weather or needs to be taken more seriously.
“It will take more time to confirm,” he told Dow Jones Newswires.
After surging in 2013 to its best annual run in over four decades, the Nikkei has turned down about 9.0 percent since the start of this year as global markets were hit by heavy volatility.
In the US, investors took some comfort from gains in Markit's US purchasing managers index on Thursday, while new jobless claims fell last week although not as much as expected.
The data offered some better news after new US home construction and building permits plunged more than expected in January amid severe winter weather in large parts of the country.
“It seems the market, at least for now, is not too concerned about the recent run of disappointing US releases especially given the element of bad weather, though one might start to wonder whether this will remain true if more tier-1 data goes in this direction,” Credit Agricole said.
In share trading, Toyota added 2.08 percent to finish at 5,982
yen, while Sony shares rose 1.43 percent to 1,766 yen.
Camera and copier maker Canon was up 1.16 percent to 3,123 yen and market heavyweight Fast Retailing, operator of the Uniqlo clothing chain, jumped 3.56 percent to 35,755 yen.
On forex markets, the dollar strengthened to 102.47 yen, from 102.32 yen in New York Thursday.
In US markets, the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.58
percent to close at 16,133.23 on Thursday. - Sapa-AFP