Tokyo stocks have closed 0.39 per cent higher as investors await corporate earnings reports by major Japanese firms.
The benchmark Nikkei 225 index was up 42.41 points at 10,866.72 on Tuesday, while the broader Topix index of all first-section shares rose 0.76 per cent, or 6.98 points, to 920.76.
"Foreign buying is tepid, although there are pockets of more concentrated interest, such as in banks and brokerages," an equity trading director at a foreign brokerage told Dow Jones Newswires.
"Apprehension over the upcoming (Federal Reserve) meeting, as well as US payrolls data is keeping enthusiasm somewhat at bay for the moment."
The Fed goes into the two-day meeting on Tuesday a week after Japan's central bank unveiled fresh monetary easing measures that have weakened the yen.
The US central bank has said it will not tighten policy until the jobless rate falls to 6.5 per cent. Friday will see the release of official jobs data, with unemployment currently at 7.8 per cent.
Investors were also cautiously awaiting earnings results by major Japanese companies later this week, including Toshiba, Panasonic and Honda.
US stocks finished Monday mostly lower despite a stronger-than-expected manufactured durable goods report and a nearly two per cent gain by Caterpillar.
The construction and mining equipment giant, considered a bellwether of the global economy, posted a big year-on-year drop in quarterly profit but suggested business could pick up in the second half of 2013.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished 0.1 per cent lower at 13,881.93.
In Tokyo trade, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group rose 3.75 per cent to Y497. Sony slipped 1.56 per cent to Y1,385 after soaring on Monday on a weak yen and after Merrill Lynch Japan raised its target price on the stock.
Osaka-listed videogame giant Nintendo also gave up some of its gains from the previous day, dipping 0.51 per cent to Y9,580.
Toyota shares rose 0.23 per cent to Y4,325, Honda was up 0.88 per cent at Y3,430 and Nissan jumped 4.35 per cent to Y934.
On Monday, the trio released upbeat sales and production figures, with Toyota logging record 2012 sales of 9.75 million vehicles.
The data confirmed the Japanese giant had reclaimed the title of world's biggest vehicle seller from General Motors.
In forex markets, the dollar weakened to Y90.73, against Y90.82 in New York on Monday, with the euro also easing to Y122.06 from Y122.20 and to $US1.3448 from $US1.3454.
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