Leading gains

ASIAN shares edged higher on Tuesday with Japan leading the region’s gains as trading resumed after a long weekend.

The Nikkei 225 was up by 0.6 per cent at 20,768.3 points in early trade.

Attention focused on Toshiba after it said on Monday that a probe had found profits were massively overstated for years.

Nevertheless, investors appeared to have a positive outlook on the company as shares rose by 3.5 per cent.

In a statement to investors, Toshiba said its operating profits had been inflated by 151.8billion yen ($F2.61b). The improper accounting practices dated back to 2008 and the probe could lead to a restatement of profits, an overhaul of the board, or potential action by regulators.

Toshiba said a full report into the accounting scandal will be released later on Tuesday.

Japanese investors were also able to take some positive impulse from the minutes of the Bank of Japan’s last meeting.

The notes show the central bank’s board members were optimistic about the inflation trend continuing, confirming the central bank’s stimulus efforts.

Meanwhile, South Korea’s benchmark Kospi index was trading 0.6 per cent higher at 2085.9.

In Australia, the continued slump in commodity prices weighed on investor confidence and the ASX 200 index opened flat at 5688.5 points.

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