Nikkei tracks Wall St higher as U.S. election vote count goes on

TOKYO, Nov 5 (Reuters) - Japanese shares extended their gains on Thursday, with investors awaiting final vote counts for the U.S. presidential election after results from several states gave a narrow lead to Democrat Joe Biden.

The benchmark Nikkei share average rose 0.99% to 23,929.61 by the midday break after briefly touching the 24,000-level — its highest since Jan. 22. The broader Topix gained 0.73% to 1,639.21.

Both Biden and U.S. President Donald Trump were on track to reach 270 Electoral College votes as counting went on. Biden won in Wisconsin and Michigan, while Trump’s campaign moved to file lawsuits and request for a recount in many states.

Overnight, Wall Street main indexes surged as the likelihood of gridlock in Congress made investors optimistic that major policy changes would be difficult to enact.

Japan’s growth stocks performed well, taking cues from its U.S. counterparts as investors anticipated growth-oriented shares to generally outperform value stocks, a similar landscape to the one in the months leading up to the election.

The Topix Growth index rose 1.81%, while the Topix Value index fell 0.41%.

Banks and insurers were down 1.73% and 1.93%, respectively, as they were hurt by overnight drops in U.S. Treasury yields.

Pharmaceutical firm Eisai were untraded with a glut of buy orders, last quoted up 17.91% to hit its daily limit after the company and its partner Biogen Inc moved closer to receiving the FDA’s nod for Alzheimer’s disease drug.

Subaru Corp climbed 2.27% after the automobile company raised its operating profit outlook as U.S. vehicle sales rebounded more than it expected.

The Mothers Index of start-up firm shares gained nearly 2.9%, extending its rally from a more than 5% rise. (Reporting by Eimi Yamamitsu; editing by Uttaresh.V)