Tokyo stocks advanced on the final day of Japan's 2023 fiscal year on Friday, with the Nikkei marking a 44 percent increase, a record largest point gain from the previous year boosted by a weaker yen that raised prospects of favorable performances by exporters.

The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average ended up 201.37 points, or 0.50 percent, from Thursday at 40,369.44. The broader Topix index finished 17.81 points, or 0.65 percent, higher at 2,768.62.

On the top-tier Prime Market, gainers were led by textile and apparel, real estate, and construction shares.

The U.S. dollar was mostly capped in the lower 151 yen range in Tokyo amid wariness over a possible yen-buying intervention by Japanese authorities after the yen hit a 34-year low earlier this week.

The U.S. dollar fetched 151.33-34 yen compared with 151.33-43 yen in New York and 151.43-45 yen in Tokyo at 5 p.m. Thursday.

The euro was quoted at $1.0768-0769 and 162.96-163.00 yen against $1.0785-0795 and 163.21-31 yen in New York, and $1.0800-0801 and 163.55-59 yen in Tokyo late Thursday afternoon.

The yield on the benchmark 10-year Japanese government bond rose 0.020 percentage point from Thursday's close to 0.725 percent, tracking an overnight rise in U.S. long-term Treasury yields.

The benchmark price of gold set by Tokyo's Tanaka Kikinzoku Kogyo K.K. hit an all-time high in yen value of 12,002 yen per gram, the major precious metal firm said, as demand for the safe asset has been growing due partly to rising geopolitical tensions around the world.

Stocks ended up on the last trading day of the Japanese fiscal year, with investors scooping up a wide range of shares after the Nikkei benchmark fell almost 600 points the previous day, analysts said.

The index has soared repeatedly, notching new all-time highs since surpassing on Feb. 22 its previous record set during Japan's asset price bubble era. Its rise has been due in no small part to the weak yen, which boosts the overseas earnings of exporters when repatriated.

The Japanese currency has plunged nearly 20 yen against the dollar in fiscal 2023 amid a widening interest rate differential between Japan and the United States, whose central banks are pursuing divergent ultraloose and tight monetary policies, respectively.

Fiscal 2023 also marked the Nikkei's biggest point gain on record, climbing 12,327.96 points in the year.

Buying has also been spurred by expectations that demand for semiconductors will remain strong amid an artificial intelligence boom, as well as the Tokyo Stock Exchange's market reforms encouraging listed companies to focus on enhancing shareholder value, analysts said.

On Friday, however, investors refrained from chasing higher ground due to limited foreign participation ahead of the long Easter weekend in the U.S. and other overseas markets, while a wait-and-see mood prevailed before the release of key U.S. inflation data later in the day, said Shingo Ide, chief equity strategist at the NLI Research Institute.

Amid a dearth of fresh trading cues, investors are "likely waiting until the new fiscal year to take profits or establish new positions," Ide said.

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