Tokyo stocks managed to turn higher after struggling for direction Friday, with buybacks of lagging issues gaining strength.

The 225-issue Nikkei average of the Tokyo Stock Exchange climbed 40.93 points, or 0.18 percent, to close at 23,360.30, after shedding 156.16 points Thursday.

The Topix index of all first section issues closed up 8.02 points, or 0.49 percent, at 1,646.42, following a 5.95-point fall the previous day.

Sandwiched between buying by bargain hunters and selling stemming from the strong yen and a broad-based U.S. market fall Thursday, the Tokyo market failed to find a direction in the morning.

In the afternoon, however, stocks gained stronger support from moves to purchase lagging shares, although range-bound trading continued amid a lack of powerful buying incentives, brokers said.

“Market players reacted positively” to the high approval ratings for the Cabinet of new Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, shown by media organizations for the first time since Wednesday’s Cabinet launch, Yutaka Miura, senior technical analyst at Mizuho Securities Co., noted.

But Miura also pointed out that selling pressure persisted. “Many investors took to the sell side out of concern over a possible sell-off on Wall Street during the four-day weekend in Japan through Tuesday,” he said.

On the first section, gainers outnumbered losers 1,600 to 488 with 88 issues unchanged. Volume rose to 1.499 billion shares from Thursday’s 1.108 billion shares.

System integrator NTT Data Corp. and electronics firm Fujitsu attracted active buying on the back of growing hopes that the creation of a Digital Agency as envisaged by Suga will boost demand for their services and products.

Oriental Land Co. advanced 2.27 percent, after the theme park operator said a “Beauty and the Beast” area will open at Tokyo Disneyland on Sept. 28.

Among other major winners were advertising giant Dentsu Group Inc. and clothing store chain Fast Retailing Co.

Cell phone carriers NTT Docomo Inc., KDDI Corp. and SoftBank Corp. were hit hard by media reports that Suga instructed new communications minister Ryota Takeda to swiftly start work to reduce mobile communications fees.

Retail giant Seven & I Holdings Co. and air conditioner-maker Daikin also went down.

In index futures trading on the Osaka Exchange, the key December contract on the Nikkei average climbed 120 points to end at 23,220.

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