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Tokyo: Nikkei hits over two-year high on Wall Street boost

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[TOKYO] Japanese shares ended at a more than two-year high on Thursday, buoyed by overnight Wall Street gains, while focus remained on final tally for the US presidential election after several state results gave a narrow lead to Democrat Joe Biden and a likelihood of divided Congress.

The benchmark Nikkei share average rose 1.73 per cent to close at 24,105.28, its highest since Oct 3, 2018. The broader Topix gained 1.39 per cent to 1,649.9.

Mr Biden predicted a US election win over President Donald Trump after pivotal victories in Michigan and Wisconsin, but the risk of a prolonged contested election remains as Mr Trump's campaign moved to file lawsuits and request for a recount in many states.

Analysts said stocks were supported by overnight Wall Street gains as the likelihood of gridlock in Congress made investors optimistic that major policy changes would be difficult to enact.

Growth shares performed well, taking positive cues from their US counterparts.

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"US growth stocks were buoyed by a drop in US long-term interest rate as investor wariness eased over massive government spending. This helped Japanese growth-oriented stocks to track them higher," said Takashi Hiroki, chief strategist at Monex Securities.

The Topix Growth index rose 2.46 per cent, while the Topix Value index inched 0.26 per cent higher.

Banks and insurers were down 1.03 per cent and 1.44 per cent, respectively, as they were hurt by overnight drops in US Treasury yields.

Pharmaceutical firm Eisai jumped 17.91 per cent to hit its daily limit after the company and its partner Biogen moved closer to receiving the US FDA's nod for their Alzheimer drug.

Subaru rose 0.31 per cent, after the automobile company raised its operating profit outlook as US vehicle sales rebounded more than it expected.

Suzuki Motor climbed 4.89 per cent as its profit forecast was higher than analysts' expectations.

The Mothers Index of startup firm shares gained nearly 3.2 per cent, extending its rally from a more than 5 per cent rise.

REUTERS

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