Wall Street rose, bolstered by pharmaceutical stocks, after an upset victory for Republican candidate Donald Trump in the US presidential election.

Republicans won the White House as well as both chambers of Congress.

"The markets were also not pricing in a Republican sweep, but now the victory makes you think maybe something can get done and the Republicans historically are against governments meddling in businesses, and that's what you seeing played out today," Nadia Lovell, US Equity Strategist at JP Morgan Private Bank in New York, told Reuters.

The US dollar also gained, rebounding from an overnight slide.

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About 85 per cent of 62 respondents in a Reuters survey taken on Wednesday they expect the Federal Reserve is on track to raise its key interest rate next month, its first hike in a year.

In 1.11pm trading in New York, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 1 per cent, while the Nasdaq Composite Index gained 0.7 per cent. In 12.56pm trading, the Standard & Poor's 500 Index advanced 0.8 per cent.

Investors chose to focus on the benefits from a Trump presidency, some analysts said.

"At this point it is almost a Rorschach picture. If you want to be positive you can say at face value his policies are reflationary and less regulation," David Lefkowitz, senior equity strategist at UBS Wealth Management Americas in New York, told Reuters.

"The sectors that benefit from that would be in terms of reflation, it is going to be financials, and less regulation it is going to be healthcare and financials," Lefkowitz noted.

Rallies in shares of Pfizer and those of Merck, up 7.4 per cent and 7 per cent respectively, led the the Dow higher.

Pharmaceutical stocks posted a relief rally. The election outcome "substantially diminishes the likelihood of significant pricing reform emanating from Washington," JP Morgan analysts said in a research note, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Shares of Caterpillar also surged, up 7 per cent.

The markets were also not pricing in a Republican sweep, but now the victory makes you think maybe something can get done and the Republicans historically are against governments meddling in businesses, and that's what you seeing played out today.

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Meanwhile, US Treasuries dropped amid expectations that a Trump presidency will boost spending and inflation. Yields on the 10-year note jumped 15 basis points to 2 per cent as of noon in New York.

"The long end of the curve is under significant pressure for what the market believes to be the Trump platform: protectionism, retaliatory tariffs and fiscal stimulus, all of which are inflationary and bad for the dollar," Ian Lyngen, the New York-based head of US rates strategy at BMO Capital Markets, a primary dealer, told Bloomberg.

In Europe, the Stoxx 600 Index ended the session with a 1.5 per cent advance from the previous close, underpinned by gains in shares of drugmakers. Germany's DAX Index rose 1.6 per cent, France's CAC 40 Index increased 1.5 per cent, while the UK's FTSE 100 Index gained 1 per cent.