Japanese shares pushed higher on Thursday as investors took their cue from Wall Street's enthusiastic response to the re-election of George W. Bush to the White House.

But other markets in the region put in mixed performances following Tuesday's hefty gains.

The Nikkei 225 average, Japan's benchmark indicator, rose 0.5 per cent to 10,946.27 as investors returned following a public holiday. The broader Topix index gained 0.6 per cent to 1,101.89.

Investors were relieved firstly by the clarity of the result, and secondly, like Wall Street, judged that Mr Bush would be a better steward for the US economy - and thus Japanese exporters, analysts said.

Gains for carmakers highlighted the optimism. Nissan was up 0.4 per cent at Y1,155, Honda gained 0.6 per cent to Y5,210 and Toyota rose 1.7 per cent to Y4,110.

In the electronics sector, Sony climbed 1.4 per cent to Y3,720, Canon gained 1.3 per cent to Y5,310 but Toshiba was flat at Y438.

The yen, whose strength has threatened exporter profits in recent weeks, sagged slightly to Y106.2 against the dollar.

Rakuten, the internet services group, dropped 3.1 per cent to Y770,000 having won the right to set up a new baseball team earlier in the week. Livedoor, the rival it defeated, surged 13.5 per cent to Y446.

NTT Urban Development, the property affiliate of NTT, made a disappointing market debut, ending the session at Y429,000 against an initial public offering price of Y450,000.

Other real estate companies put in stronger performances, with Mitsubishi Estate up 1.9 per cent at Y1,168 and Sumitomo Realty and Development gaining 2 per cent to Y1,203.

Furukawa Electric leapt 10.8 per cent to Y504 after Japan's biggest fibre-optic cable maker raised its half-year group net profit forecast to almost Y15bn from Y11bn.

Noritz, a boiler and air conditioner maker, fell 2.6 per cent to Y1,667 after lowering its earnings forecast for calendar year to Y4bn from Y5bn.

Seoul was undermined by worries that higher oil prices and a stronger won could result from George W. Bush's victory The composite index fell 1.1 per cent to 851.20.

Chipmakers came under additional pressure after the US Semiconductor Industry Association said sales of chips in 2005 would stay unchanged from this year.

Samsung Electronics, the world's biggest maker of memory chips, fell 1.5 per cent to Won448,000, while Hynix Semiconductor slid 4.3 per cent to Won12,200.

Elsewhere, worries about oil prices sent Korean Air spiralling 3.4 per cent lower to Won16,950. Sydney continued its record-breaking run, helped by speculation that financial group AMP could be a takeover target.

The S&P/ASX 200 index edged up 0.2 per cent to 3,838.5, having hit an all-time intra-day high of 3,849.5 in early business.

AMP, the insurer and fund manager, climbed nearly 10 per cent to a 21-month high of A$7.20 on talk that ANZ Bank could make a A$7.50 bid, or that General Electric of the US might buy a stake in AMP.

News Corp rose 1.4 per cent to A$23.31, while its preferred shares gained 4.2 per cent to A$22.43 after its quarterly profits beat market forecasts.

The stock was trading locally for the first time since moving its primary listing to the New York Stock Exchange. The media group remains in the S&P/ASX 200 but will be removed in stages over nine months after it is included in the US S&P 500 index. Wellington also hit a record high ahead of first-quarter results from market bellwether Telecom. The NZSX 50 index rose 0.6 per cent to 2,884.77.

Telecom shares rose 1 per cent to NZ$5.91.

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