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TOKYO: Japanese equities closed sharply higher on Tuesday, with tech heavyweights leading the rebound from a two-day decline, as investors snapped up stocks sold off on concerns about the Omicron COVID-19 variant.

The Nikkei share average jumped 2.08% to close at 28,517.59, while the broader Topix rose 1.47% to 1,969.79.

"The Japanese market fell too much in the previous sessions because of concerns about the impact of the Omicron variant, which is affecting the US and Europe," said Kazuharu Konishi, head of equities at Mitsubishi UFJ Kokusai Asset Management.

"But Japan so far has not seen many infections. On top of that, Japanese shares are relatively cheap."

The Nikkei fell almost 4% in the previous two sessions as the Omicron variant stoked worries about an economic slowdown worldwide, while hawkish moves by global central banks curbed risk appetite.

Heavyweight chip-related shares rose after Micron Technology beat market expectations by delivering stronger quarterly results.

Tokyo Electron gained 4.4% and Advantest rose 4.61%. Robot maker Fanuc climbed 2.72% and technology investor SoftBank Group, which has lost 10% so far this month, gained 1.1%.

Drugmakers rose 1.93%, with Shionogi & Co jumping 5.3% after a report said preliminary studies suggested its COVID-19 drug could work against Omicron infections. Daiichi Sankyo rose 3.36%, while Astellas Pharma slipped 0.11%.

Sporting goods maker Asics jumped 3.59% after its US peer Nike reported robust earnings.

There were 207 advancers on the Nikkei index against 16 decliners.

Shinsei Bank Ltd was the worst performer on the Nikei with a drop of 1.69%, followed by Mitsubishi Materials , down 1.23%, and Furukawa Electric, which fell 0.77%.

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