Asian shares were mixed on Wednesday, with shares in South Korea down as its political scandal grows more entangled and Toshiba plunges 20 percent on a possible write-down of several billion dollars related to its Westinghouse unit.
Japan's Nikkei 225 wavered between trading positive and negative, and closed flat at 19,401.72 after data showed that Japanese industrial production rose by 1.5 percent in November from a year earlier, lower than a Reuters forecast for 1.6 percent. Japan's November retail sales painted a rosier picture of Japan's economy, up 1.7 percent year-on-year, compared with a Reuters forecast for growth of 0.7 percent.
Toshiba shares plunged 20.43 percent to 311.6 yen each, hitting the Tokyo exchange's daily downward limit, after falling 11.6 percent on Tuesday. The company said on Tuesdayit may have to book several billion dollars in one-off charges related to a U.S. nuclear power plant construction company acquisition.
"With Toshiba's finances already weak, the booking of impairment losses is a negative," Masaya Yamasaki, an analyst at Nomura, said in a note dated Tuesday. "With the amount of losses not yet clear, all the bad news is not out."