Singapore markets close in 20 minutes

Tokyo stocks open slightly higher

Tokyo stocks opened slightly higher on Tuesday with investors cautiously optimistic on hopes of economic restarts after business shutdowns forced by the coronavirus outbreak.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index gained 0.17 percent or 34.87 points to 20,425.53 in early trade while the broader Topix index was up 0.06 percent or 0.95 points at 1,481.57.

"Japanese stocks will continue to test a rebound on the hopes that the state of emergency will be lifted gradually" in Japan, Okasan Online Securities said in a note.

"US stocks were mixed but the yen's downward trend in the mid-107 (to the dollar) supports investor sentiment," it added.

The dollar was trading at 107.64 yen, compared with 107.65 yen in New York Monday afternoon and the 106 range seen a day earlier.

Masayuki Kubota, chief strategist at Rakuten Securities, said it was unsurprising that stocks had started factoring in the global economy's return to normal in 6-12 months.

"But I think we should be wary about the pace of the recent rise being too fast," he said in a commentary.

"It is better to brace for another bout of dips in summer as a second wave of infections is possible after economic restarts in the United States and Europe," he said.

Japan has extended a state of emergency over the coronavirus until the end of May but a review of the situation will be held on Thursday.

Local reports say the government could lift the measures in a large part of the country though not for Tokyo.

Toyota fell 0.60 percent to 6,618 yen hours before the auto giant releases full-year results.

Honda, which will announce earnings after the market close, tumbled 2.52 percent to 2,548 yen.

But major cosmetics maker Shiseido jumped 3.09 percent to 6,704 yen.

Nintendo was up 2.29 percent at 44,640 yen.

Wall Street stocks finished mixed Monday as markets weigh hopes about reopening the economy against worries over coronavirus cases and the damage already inflicted by the shutdowns.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended down 0.5 percent while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index rose 0.8 percent.