Asia trades mixed, China March manufacturing PMI reveal improvements

Asia traded mostly higher on the last day of March, as investors digested a mixed set of economic data out of east Asia.

Down Under, the ASX 200 turned positive, to trade up 0.05 percent, dragged by a weaker energy sub-index.
Japan's Nikkei 225 was up 0.59 percent, supported by the weaker yen.

Japan's core consumer prices rose 0.2 percent in February year-on-year, marking the fastest growth in nearly two years. But household spending fell 3.8 percent in February from a year earlier, missing estimates for a 1.7 percent fall. Meanwhile, Japan's February jobless rate declined to 2.8 percent, its lowest rate since June 1994, and marked an improvement in the labor market.

The atmosphere was tense among Toshiba shareholders at the extraordinary general meeting on Thursday after they agreed to split off its prized NAND flash memory unit, to cover its U.S. subsidiary's multi-billion dollar losses. Toshiba shares were up 3.81 percent, but still lower compared to its losses of 14.6 percent this year.

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