Asia markets gain, with Nikkei up 0.6% – CNBC

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In corporate news, Sharp shares were up 3.97 percent after Reuters cited sources saying the troubled electronics maker is set to sign its takeover deal by Taiwanese manufacturer Foxconn by this week. In recent weeks, the deal had stalled after Sharp revealed around $2.66 billion of previously undisclosed contingent liabilities.

Elsewhere, Dow Jones reported Daniel Loeb’s Third Point investment firm sent a letter to the Japanese retail store operator Seven & I holdings, urging its board to make any succession plan based on the interests of shareholders. Dow Jones reported that while the investment firm doesn’t endorse any particular candidate, it said the president of Seven-Eleven Japan, Ryuichi Isaka, was qualified to be a leading candidate to replace Seven & i’s current chief executive officer.

Shares of Seven & i were up 1.29 percent.

U.S. crude futures were up 0.76 percent at $39.76 a barrel as of 11:05 a.m. HK/SIN time.

Energy plays in Asia were mixed, with shares of Inpex down 0.76 percent, Fuji Oil higher by 1.75 percent and Chinese mainland shares of Sinopec adding 1.55 percent.

This week sees a slew of important data releases, with investors looking ahead to U.S. non-farm payroll numbers for March and the Bank of Japan’s Tankan survey of business sentiment, both due Friday.

No major economic data are due today.

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Asia markets gain, with Nikkei up 0.6% – CNBC}