Tokyo stocks took a modest upturn Tuesday on buybacks after losing ground for two straight sessions.
The 225-issue Nikkei average of the Tokyo Stock Exchange rose 43.09 points, or 0.18%, to end at 23,601.78, following a 61-point drop Monday.
The Topix index of all TSE first section issues closed up 5.75 points, or 0.35%, at 1,649.10, in a turnaround from the previous day's drop by 4.03 points.
Stocks jumped right after the opening bell in the wake of all three major U.S. market yardsticks, including the Dow Jones Industrial Average, extending their winning streaks to a fourth session Monday. The benchmark Nikkei shot up some 100 points at the outset.
But buying quickly lost steam because sentiment was dampened chiefly by the Dow futures' plunge in off-hours trading, brokers said.
The market returned to positive terrain in early afternoon trading, as machinery stocks attracted renewed buying interest a day after Japan's machinery order data for September showed external demand increased for the first time in two years, brokers noted.
Both the Nikkei and Topix indexes went sideways for the rest of the afternoon session amid a dearth of market-moving news, with participants taking to the sidelines to wait for upcoming earnings announcements by domestic and foreign firms.
"The market was underpinned by the view that the Japanese economy has been recovering since hitting the bottom in April-June (amid the coronavirus crisis)," said Maki Sawada, vice president of Nomura Securities Co.'s Investment Research & Investor Services Department.
She also pointed to unabated expectations that the United States will work out a fresh coronavirus relief package in the not-so-distant future.
Chihiro Ota, general manager for investment research and investor services at SMBC Nikko Securities Inc., noted that trading would be reinvigorated by a string of earnings statements to be released hereafter.
On the TSE's first section, gainers slightly outnumbered decliners 1,045 to 1028 with 103 issues unchanged. Volume inched up to 870 million shares from Monday's 850 million shares.
In the bullish machinery sector, industrial robot-maker Fanuc Corp. and air cylinder producer SMC Corp. gained 4.23% and 3.42%, respectively.
Murata Manufacturing Co. and Taiyo Yuden Co., parts suppliers for Apple Inc., jumped ahead of the expected announcement of a 5G iPhone later on Tuesday.
Insurers Tokio Marine Holdings Inc. and MS&AD Insurance Group Holding Inc. were also hunted.
Meanwhile, drugmakers Eisai Co. and Shionogi & Co. fell amid growing fears that U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden's campaign pledge to lower drug costs may become a real threat to the pharmaceutical industry.
In index futures trading on the Osaka Exchange, the key December contract on the Nikkei average climbed 70 points to 23,590.