Japanese shares rise as tech stocks track Wall Street higher

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TOKYO, Feb 1 (Reuters) - Japanese shares closed higher on Tuesday, driven by tech stocks after a strong Wall Street finish overnight, even as benchmark equity indexes gave up most of their early gains in afternoon trade weighed down by weakness in U.S. futures.

The Nikkei share average (.N225) gained 0.28% to 27,078.48, after rising as much as 1.5% earlier in the session. The broader Topix (.TOPX) inched up 0.01% to 1,896.06.

U.S. stocks closed higher overnight, at the end of a volatile month for Wall Street where the tech-heavy Nasdaq narrowly avoided its worst ever start to the year and the S&P 500 recorded its weakest January performance since 2009.

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"With not many market-moving catalysts, the decline in U.S. futures dragged the sentiment," said Masahiro Ichikawa, chief market strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui DS Asset Management.

TDK (6762.T) surged 11.22% and was the top contributor to the Nikkei's gain after the electronic component maker raised its profit outlook for the second time this year.

Heavyweight chip-making equipment maker Tokyo Electron (8035.T) rose 1.71%.

Shionogi & Co (4507.T) surged 10.33% after a report said the company's oral antiviral drug for COVID-19 was found to be effective in a study.

Seven & i Holdings gained 4.38% after Japanese media reported the retailer was considering selling its department unit. read more

Sony Group (6758.T) gained 0.39% after the game maker announced the acquisition of Bungie Inc, the original creator of the "Halo" videogame and developer of "Destiny", in a deal valued at $3.6 billion. read more

Automobile-related products maker NSK (6471.T) fell 10.68% and was the worst performer on the Nikkei, followed by textile maker Toray Industries (3402.T), which fell 10.08%.

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Reporting by Junko Fujita, additional reporting by Tokyo markets team; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu

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