* Nikkei traverses positive and negative territory
* Financials, exporters higher
By Ayai Tomisawa
TOKYO, Nov 9 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei share average rose more than 1 percent in extremely volatile trade on Wednesday morning as investors held their breath after early state exit polls in the U.S. presidential election showed a close contest.
Both Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton waged a tight battle in several crucial battleground states in their bitter race for the White House, although opinion polls showed Clinton had an edge in the closing hours of the campaign.
The Nikkei opened higher, then dipped into negative territory in early deals before recovering and rising as much as 1.5 percent to 17,427.71 at 0101 GMT.
A total of 32 of 33 Topix's subsectors were in positive territory, with financials and exporters gaining.
Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group rose 1.6 percent and Mizuho Financial Group added 1.1 percent. Honda Motor Co gained 1.1 percent and Nissan Motor Co rose 1.3 percent.
Investors have tended to see Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton as the candidate of the status quo, while Trump's stance on foreign policy, trade and immigration has unnerved the market.
"Most market participants have priced in expectations that Clinton wins the election. However, early votes will likely sway the market and will cause volatility today," said Norihiro Fujito, senior investment strategist at Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities.
The broader Topix gained 0.9 percent to 1,375.61 and the JPX-Nikkei Index 400 advanced 0.9 percent to 12,333.43.
Graphic of live election results: tmsnrt.rs/2fxyZV0 (Editing by Shri Navaratnam)