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Tokyo's Nikkei jumps more than 1.8% after Wall St rally

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[TOKYO] Tokyo's benchmark Nikkei index gained more than 1.8 per cent on Thursday with market sentiment buoyed by a rally in Wall Street shares after the US midterm elections produced no major surprises.

The Nikkei 225 index rose 1.82 per cent or 401.12 points to 22,486.92, while the broader Topix index was up 1.74 per cent or 28.82 points at 1,681.25.

"Buying sentiment spread as the market took a positive lead from Wall Street, erasing initial concerns about the US elections," said Toshikazu Horiuchi, a broker at IwaiCosmo Securities.

The benchmark Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped more than 2 per cent as markets breathed a sigh of relief with the uncertainty of the vote now behind them.

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On Wednesday, the Japanese bourse closed lower as investors were still digesting the US vote result - a split Congress that analysts say is likely to halt any major advances in President Donald Trump's economic agenda.

"Following the vote, the market shifted its focus to the FOMC (Federal Open Market Committee)," Mr Horiuchi told AFP.

The Federal Reserve will end its two-day policy meeting later in the day, with central bankers widely expected to hold their fire but likely to signal a December rate hike.

"And the market is also refocusing on the prospect of a US-China trade war," he added.

The dollar changed hands at 113.68 yen in Asian afternoon trade, against 113.53 yen in New York.

In Tokyo, Toshiba soared 12.68 per cent to 3,775 yen as investors welcomed its plan to buy back its shares. Toshiba also said it revised downward its full-year forecast and will slash 7,000 jobs.

Toyota gained another 0.70 per cent to 6,686 yen, rising for the third straight session after it posted record first-half sales and upgraded its annual forecasts.

Fujifilm jumped 2.17 per cent to 4,877 yen after it reported a better-than-expected operating profit in the second quarter to September.

REUTERS