Tokyo stocks close marginally higher

Tokyo stocks edged up Tuesday in sluggish trade as buying sentiment was dampened by concern over rising coronavirus infections in Japan.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index rose 0.09 percent, or 25.31 points, to close at 28,164.34, while the broader Topix index was up 0.16 percent, or 3.00 points, at 1,857.94.

"Hopes for more stimulus in the United States remain strong," said Yoshihiro Okumura of Chibagin Asset Management.

"But concerns over rising coronavirus infections in Japan capped today's gain," he told AFP.

The government is this week expected to expand a state of emergency in the greater Tokyo area to also cover Osaka and other western cities where infections are surging.

Investors were also cautious on Tuesday about the sharp gains in Japanese shares, which have recently been hitting three-decade highs, brokers said.

The dollar fetched 104.27 yen in Asian trade, against 104.20 yen in New York late Monday.

In Tokyo, Chugai Pharmaceutical rallied 5.90 percent to 5,862 yen after a British government-funded trial found Chugai's arthritis medication tocilizumab, marketed as Actemra, lowered the risk of death from Covid-19.

SoftBank Group rose 1.36 percent to 8,097 yen after announcing the firm sold $2 billion of its shares in Uber.

Honda dropped 1.55 percent to 2,888 yen after reports said the automaker plans to cut production in Japan and North America due to a shortage of semiconductor parts.

Toyota fell 0.59 percent to 7,892 yen but Nissan was up 0.34 percent at 546 yen.