Tokyo, Japan (BBN) – Asian markets traded mixed on Thursday, despite US stocks closing at fresh highs for a fifth-straight day overnight, with Toshiba shares extending their recent tumble.
In Japan, the Nikkei Stock Average ended down 0.47 percent, or 90.45 points, at 19,347.53, reports CNBC.
Toshiba shares continued their decline on Thursday, falling 3.34percent, extending a more than 8 percent drop in Wednesday’s session amid mounting troubles.
Reuters, citing sources, reported Toshiba may delay the sale of its prized flash-memory chip unit as it scrambles for cash to stay in business, after booking a massive multi-billion dollar hit to its US nuclear unit.
The company has delayed releasing its earnings results.
“We believe Toshiba’s delay in reporting its financial results is due to poor internal controls at its US nuclear-power subsidiary, Westinghouse Electric,” said Masako Kuwahara, a senior analyst at ratings agency Moody’s, in a note on Thursday.
“Toshiba is already in a deleterious financial position,” Kuwahara said.
“The delay in reporting its results and the substantial impairment charge pose further credit negatives for the company.”
Across the Korean Strait, the Kospi gave up slight early gains to end down 0.10 per cent, or 2.02 points, at 2081.84.
In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index advanced 0.47 per cent in afternoon trade, while Chinese mainland markets also saw gains.
The Shanghai composite ended up 0.51 per cent, or 16.43 points, at 3229.41, while the Shenzhen composite rose 0.57 per cent, or 11.07 points, to 1958.12.
Australia’s ASX 200 ended slightly higher, rising 0.12 percent, or 7.226 points, to 5816.30.
In regional company news, Singapore’s top lender DBS Group said Thursday that net profit in the fourth quarter of 2016 fell nearly 9 percent from the year-earlier quarter to S$913 million. DBS shares advanced 1.59 percent.
Views on US interest rates were also in focus as New York Fed President William Dudley said Wednesday that a rate hike could come soon.
“We expect to gradually remove further monetary policy accommodation and snug up interest rates a little bit further in the months ahead,” Dudley said.
The Fed has forecast as many as three rate hikes this year, with the policymaking committee’s next meeting set for March.
Overnight, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen testified in front of Congress for the second straight day on Wednesday.
She acknowledged the economy was weak, but said Fed policies have helped and the economy is close to achieving the Fed’s goals on employment and inflation.
On Tuesday, Yellen raised market expectations for a March rate hike after saying it would be “unwise” for the Fed to wait too long.