Asia mixed; Nikkei up 0.4%, Kospi down 0.5% – CNBC

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The Japanese yen remained at the 112 handle against the dollar, with the dollar/yen pair trading at 112.26. Major exporters traded mixed, with Toyota down 0.8 percent, Nissan up by 0.14 percent and Honda higher by 3.12 percent.

In corporate news, on Wednesday after market close, Taiwan’s Foxconn said it has agreed to acquire Japanese electronics maker Sharp. Reuters reported Foxconn will pay about $3.5 billion for a two-thirds stake, nearly $900 million less than its initial offer. Shares of Sharp closed down 4.44 percent.

Foxconn, which is also known as Hon Hai Precision Industry, finished up 1.31 percent.

Shares of airbag maker Takata gained 5.8 percent Thursday, after dropping 19.45 percent on Wednesday. Bloomberg News, citing a person familiar with the matter, reported that Takata estimates the cost of the comprehensive callback of its airbag inflators would amount to about 2.7 trillion yen ($24 billion). On Thursday, Reuters reported that Takata denied it had calculated a cost estimate, saying that with investigations still underway, it was difficult to determine the recall’s price tag.

Toshiba shares advanced 5.8 percent, after the company announced on Wednesday it finalized a deal to sell an 80.1 percent stake in its home appliances unit to China’s Midea Group, according to Japanese newspaper Nikkei. The deal is worth roughly 53.7 billion yen ($477 million),Nikkei said.

Elsewhere, shares of Sun Corp. gained 6.96 percent on Thursday, finishing the January-March quarter up 64 percent. The stock climbed after reports suggested one of its subsidiaries – Israeli firm Cellebrite – has helped the Federal Bureau of Investigations to unlock an iPhone belonging to one of the San Bernardino, California shooters.

In South Korea, government data showed the country’s industrial output rose 3.3 percent in February on-month, following a downwardly revised 2.1 percent fall in January, Reuters reported. A Reuters survey of analysts had predicted a decline of 0.2 percent for February.

Trinh D. Nguyen, a senior economist for emerging Asia at Natixis, said in a note this does not signal an overall industrial sector turnaround for South Korea, since the increase was “primarily driven by high pre-orders of Samsung Galaxy S7, which drove February output of semiconductors higher.”

Samsung Electronics shares closed up 0.31 percent.

Asia mixed; Nikkei up 0.4%, Kospi down 0.5% – CNBC}