Japan's Nikkei share average rebounded on Tuesday from a three-month low as investors reassessed the immediate impact of the French and Greek elections, although they remained wary of further flare up in the crisis-hit euro zone.
"The European risks are so large and difficult to interpret exactly what they are in the wake of the elections in Greece and France," said Stefan Worrall, director of equity cash sales at Credit Suisse in Tokyo.
"In some senses, people are waiting for some direction in one way or another. Overwhelmingly, the mood is cautious."
The Nikkei closed 0.7% higher at 9,181.65, holding below the 50% retracement of its rally from November to March near 9,195. The broader Topix index gained 0.6% to 776.57.
On Monday, the benchmark Nikkei shed 2.8%, its biggest one-day percentage drop in six months, on concerns that a new French president and yet-to-be-formed coalition government in Greece could undermine the region's austerity drive.
Major exporters were in demand as investors saw a chance to scoop up some bargains after Monday's hefty loss. Honda Motor Co, Nissan Motor Co, TDK Corp and Fanuc Corp gained between 1.1 and 3.1%.
Toshiba Corp rose 2.9% after the Nikkei business newspaper said Japan's leading chip maker was likely to forecast operating profit of 300 billion yen for the year ending March 2013, topping market expectations.
After the bell, Toshiba confirmed the 300 billion yen estimate after it posted a 14% drop in annual operating profit for the year ended March 31, hit by a strong yen and slower demand due to the euro zone debt crisis.
During the session, Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd announced an 2012-13 operating profit forecast close to market expectations, soothing concerns that it might come in weaker. Shares of Fuji Heavy Industries jumped 7.3%.
Japanese companies have performed much better in this earnings season than the previous quarter. Two-thirds of the 68 Nikkei companies that reported January-March earnings before Tuesday beat or met market expectations, data from Thomson Reuters StarMine showed.