TOKYO Tokyo stocks finished higher Wednesday with the market led by strong gains among automakers including Toyota and rival Nissan.

Investors are now awaiting a speech by US central bank boss Janet Yellen at the Jackson Hole symposium of global central bankers Friday, hoping she will shine some more light on the direction of US monetary policy. The market won some support from forex trading, where the dollar rose to 100.38 yen from 100.23 yen Tuesday in New York. A weaker yen is a plus for Japan's exporters as it lifts their overseas profitability.

But Tokyo share trading was thin with many investors away for the summer break. "We're low on investors at the end of summer and we're also waiting for Yellen's speech in Jackson Hole, so many don't want to take a position in the market," Kiyoshi Ishigane, chief strategist at Mitsubishi UFJ Kokusai Asset Management, told Bloomberg News. At the close , the benchmark Nikkei 225 index was up 0.61 percent, or 99.94 points, at 16,597.30, rebounding from the previous day's drop.

The broader Topix index of all first-section shares rose 0.71 percent, or 9.15 points, to 1,306.71.

Traders appeared unfazed by a North Korean missile launch in the early hours of Wednesday.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Wednesday's missile breached his country's Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) and condemned what he called an "unforgivable, reckless act" and a grave threat to Japan's security.

Toyota surged 2.05 percent to finish at 6,120 yen, while Nissan tacked on 2.71 percent at 972.2 yen.

Honda climbed 0.75 percent to 3,089 yen and Mazda was up 1.16 percent to 1,522 yen.

Among the losers, Uniqlo operator Fast Retailing, a market heavyweight, slumped 2.67 percent to end at 35,600 yen.