In economic news, housing starts fell 6.8 percent last month, more than the expected 3.9 percent decline. Industrial production rose 0.5 percent last month, in line with expectations.
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence reassured Japan of American commitment to reining in North Korea's nuclear and missile ambitions on Tuesday, after warning that U.S. strikes in Syria and Afghanistan showed the strength of its resolve.
Pence arrived in Tokyo from South Korea, where he assured leaders of an "iron-clad" alliance with the United States in the face of the reclusive North, which has conducted a series of missile and nuclear tests in defiance of U.N. sanctions.
Investors also kept an eye on France, as campaigning ramped up ahead of the first round of the presidential election. Left-wing candidate Jean-Luc Melenchon's surge in polls added to investors' worries as it becomes unclear who will win the contest.
—Reuters contributed to this report.