The Nikkei 225 finished up 0.2% Friday after opening evenly on Wall Street cues and trading higher as US presidential contestants Donald Trump and Joe Biden staged a relatively civil debate.
A stronger yen against the US dollar capped the upside in export-oriented Japan, while market denizens again awaited developments on a stimulus package in Washington. Investors are cautious as earnings season unfolds, said analysts.
The Nikkei 225 rose 42.32 points to 23,516.59 points, as gaining issues outnumbered losers 170 to 50.
Leading the upside were shares of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHVYF, 7011:Tokyo) up 6.6% after unconfirmed media reports claimed the company plans to freeze development of a regional jet, while shares of tire-makers Bridgestone (BRDCY, 5108:Tokyo) and Yokohama Rubber (YORUF, 5101:Tokyo), rose 6.0% and 4.9% respectively.
On the downside were shares of Hitachi Construction Machinery (HTCMF, 6305:Tokyo), down by 16.8%, and shares of Z (YAHOY, 4689:Tokyo), the former Yahoo Japan, 3.1% lower.
The Nikkei 225 is off 0.6% in the year-to-date.
In other news, economic conditions remain severe in Japan in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, despite government measures to support spending, the Cabinet Office said in its monthly assessment.
Also, the official consumer price index (CPI) and core CPI in September were unchanged from a year earlier, reported officials.