A man looks at his watch as he passes an electronic board displaying a graph of currency rates outside a brokerage in Tokyo.

Tokyo - Tokyo stocks closed 0.56 percent higher Wednesday as market jitters were eased by new US Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen's promise of continuity in central bank monetary policy.

The benchmark Nikkei-225 index rose 81.72 points to 14,800.06, while the Topix index of all first-section shares gained 1.27 percent, or 15.32 points, to 1,219.60.

Tokyo's rise came after the Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 1.22 percent to 15,994.77 on Tuesday as stocks reacted warmly to the new Fed chief's remarks.

“Yellen hit just the right note with the market, reassuring that there would be no major break with the existing policy, while remaining somewhat cautious,” SMBC Nikko Securities general manager of equities Hiroichi Nishi told Dow Jones Newswires.

“How emerging markets handle ongoing US tapering is another matter, but for now the net impact on Japan shares should be positive.”

In her first public comments on policy since becoming Fed chair at the beginning of this month, Yellen told Congress on Tuesday that the US economy was expected to grow this year and next at a moderate pace, despite some recent poor data.

That would keep the Fed on course to slowly taper its currently $65-billion-a-month stimulus programme, a plan which has already driven interest rates higher and added to turmoil in emerging markets amid fears of capital flight.

She allowed that when the Federal Open Market Committee, the Fed's policy-making body, meets next month, it could weigh a pause to the taper if economic conditions show a significant deterioration.

“I expect a great deal of continuity in the FOMC's approach to monetary policy,” she said.

In Tokyo share trading, SoftBank closed 0.19 percent lower at 7,782 yen before the mobile carrier announced its nine-month profit soared 58 percent as iPhone sales surged, although third-quarter earnings declined.

Sony rose 3.70 percent to 1,765 yen after the leading Nikkei business daily said it had entered negotiations with Apple to double its supply of camera components for a new iPhone to be launched as early as next year.

Toyota gained 0.43 percent to 6,020 yen, Canon added 1.19 percent to 3,046 yen, while Nissan shares jumped 2.03 percent to 903 yen after Japan's number-two automaker said after markets closed Monday that its nine-month net profit jumped 18.4 percent.

Tokyo markets were closed Tuesday for a national holiday.

In forex markets, the dollar fetched 102.50 yen, against 102.64 yen in New York Tuesday. - Sapa-AFP