Japanese shares advanced, with the Topix index climbing from a three-week low, as insurers led gains.

The Topix added 0.6 percent to 1,537.47 as of 9:01 a.m. in Tokyo, rising for the first time in three days. The Nikkei 225 Stock Average gained 0.5 percent to 19,125.72. The yen gained 0.2 percent to 119.54 per dollar.

E-mini futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index fell 0.1 percent after the underlying gauge slipped 0.4 percent yesterday on weaker-than-estimated data on hiring and manufacturing.

Concerns about economic growth have also weighed on Japanese shares this week, with the Topix sliding 0.9 percent Wednesday after the Bank of Japan’s Tankan survey showed large manufacturers see business conditions weakening this quarter and most companies plan to pare investment in the year ahead.

Source : Bloomberg