Tokyo stocks close higher with eyes on Fed's Yellen

Trump to replace Yellen at Fed: report

"There is too much noise in the market in relation to interest rate but the reality is that we do not see any interest rate hike anytime soon", said Naeem Aslam, chief market analyst for Think Markets in London.

Stainless steel ingredient nickel, however, gained after Chinese steel prices reached their highest in 3-1/2 years.

Perceptions that an era of ultra-cheap money is gradually ending have been reinforced by European Central Bank minutes showing policymakers are open to reducing monetary stimulus. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks rose 2 points, or 0.1 percent, to 1,410. S&P 500 e-minis were down 2 points, or 0.08 percent, with 104,412 contracts traded. The Dow Jones industrial average gave up 59 points, or 0.3 percent, to 21,354.

"In the absence of any notable economic data releases, and with investors happy to remain on the sidelines ahead of Janet Yellen's semi-annual testimony before Congress later this week the currency markets have continued to trade tight ranges", traders at HiFX said in a note.

ENERGY BOOST: Energy sector companies led the gainers.

Investors are also eyeing the start of the United States corporate earnings season. South Africa's rand hit a two-month low ZAR=D3 while Turkey's lira TRY= and Russia's rouble RUB= both lost nearly 1 percent to trade just off recent respective 2-1/2 month and six-month lows.

Gold stocks showed a significant move to the upside on the day, driving the NYSE Arca Gold Bugs Index up by 2.8 percent.

Kohl's slid 0.6 percent in early trading Tuesday, and Nordstrom lost 0.5 percent.

Increased drilling activity in the United States and uncertainty over Libyan and Nigerian production cuts clouded the future supply outlook, leaving USA crude CLc1 down a third of a dollar at $44.13 a barrel and Brent LCOc1 at $46.57.

"Stocks have opened higher at the start of this week, the dollar continues to bask in the glory of the stronger-than- expected non-farm payrolls data, and USA bond yields are approaching the key 2.4 percent level", said Kathleen Brooks, research director with City Index in London. US gold futures slipped 0.2 percent to $1,211.1 an ounce. The rebound by gold stocks came amid an increase by the price of the precious metal.

Sterling slipped to a near two-week low against the dollar and the euro after a speech by Bank of England Deputy Governor Ben Broadbent left the outlook for interest rates unanswered. Britain's FTSE 100 was 0.4 percent lower.