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REFILE-Japan shares end higher as Dow hits record high on Biden transition

·2 min read

(Corrects to remove extraneous word from first paragraph)

TOKYO, Nov 25 (Reuters) - Japan shares closed firmer on Wednesday, taking positive cues from Wall Street as the Dow Jones benchmark scaled a record high overnight, with investor sentiment lifted by vaccine optimism and fading U.S. election uncertainty.

The Nikkei share average climbed 0.5% to close at 26,296.86. The index ended at a 29-1/2-year high on Tuesday.

The broader Topix added 0.3% to 1,767.67, extending slight gains from a more than two-year high marked in the previous session.

The Dow Jones broke past 30,000 for the first time and the S&P 500 also closed at a record high as investors anticipated a swift economic recovery on coronavirus vaccine progress and President-elect Joe Biden's transition to the White House.

"The overall market is rising today, and cyclical shares are being bought," said Takashi Hiroki, chief strategist at Monex Securities.

The market, however, lost steam in the afternoon session due to some profit-taking, market participants said.

Surging coronavirus cases in several parts of Japan also dampened market sentiment.

On Wednesday, local media reported that Tokyo will urge bars and restaurants to operate shortened hours following a surge in coronavirus infections.

Tokyo's call comes after the Japanese government on Tuesday paused its domestic travel promotion campaign in the cities of Sapporo and Osaka.

Shares of restaurants and bars fell, with Watami and Royal Holdings dropping 3.59% and 2.68%, respectively.

Land transport sector also inched down 0.77%.

Shares of semiconductor-related companies benefited from a strong performance in their U.S. peers, with Shin-Etsu Chemical climbing 3.39%, while Advantest and Tokyo Electron reversed course to end slightly lower.

Nissan Motor jumped nearly 7%, boosted by a combination of short-covering and hopes on shift to electric vehicles after the company said its redesigned compact car would feature hybrid technology system.

The Mothers Index of start-up firm shares bucked the overall firmness and lost 2.1%. (Reporting by Eimi Yamamitsu, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)