Nikkei losses led by Toshiba

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Japan's Nikkei index closed lower, with shares in Toshiba sinking nearly 10% as the firm predicted record losses.

The Nikkei 225 closed down 0.4% at 18,916.02, although the index had been as much as 1.6% in earlier trade.

Shares in Toshiba fell 9.8% on reports it was expecting record losses for the year to March.

After the market closed, Toshiba said it would cut 6,800 jobs at its consumer electronics division and report a record loss of 550bn yen ($4.53bn).

The news follows findings that Toshiba had overstated its operating profit for the past six years by a total of 151.8bn yen.

The US dollar fell to 121.20 yen, compared with last week's rate of 123 yen after the US rate rise, and the stronger yen weighed on Japan's major exporters.

Toyota shares closed down more than 1% and Honda ended down 0.7%. A stronger yen makes the products Japan's big exporters make more expensive to buy overseas.

Lower oil prices continued to weigh on energy-related shares. The price of Brent Crude fell to its lowest since 2004 in overnight trade to $36.17 a barrel, before recovering slightly to $36.49. West Texas Intermediate prices fell to $34.53 a barrel.

In China, Hong Kong's Hang Seng index closed up 0.2% at 21,791.68, while the Shanghai Composite index closed up 1.8% at 3,642.47 - a four week high.

In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 index recovered early losses to close just 0.05% higher at 5,109.05.

South Korea's benchmark Kospi index closed up 0.3% at 1,981.19.

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