February 7, 2018 / 6:38 AM / 3 months ago

CORRECTED-Nikkei ekes out small gains, investors wary as U.S. futures fall

(Corrects to say in 2nd paragraph that the Nikkei ended 0.2 percent higher, not lower)

TOKYO, Feb 7 (Reuters) - Japanese stocks pared early gains to end a notch higher in volatile trade on Wednesday, as investors stayed on guard for more losses in global equity markets after U.S. futures slipped.

The Nikkei 225 share average ended 0.2 percent higher at 21,645.37, after climbing as high as 22,353.87 in early trade.

Investors turned wary in the late afternoon in the wake of softening U.S. futures. At 0614 GMT, S&P 500 e-mini futures dropped 1.0 percent.

Mining companies, drugmakers and automakers outperformed.

Eisai Co rose 2.4 percent, Astellas Pharma gained 2.5 percent, and Inpex Corp added 1.4 percent.

Toyota Motor Corp rose 1.2 percent after the automaker said that it expects a record net profit this year.

The broader Topix gained 0.4 percent to 1,749.91. (Reporting by Ayai Tomisawa; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)

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