Asian equity markets ended higher on Monday, with Japanese market moving up as gains among banking stocks after US President Donald Trump signed two directives Friday, rolling back key financial regulations of the Obama era. Solid US jobs data, higher oil prices on fears of new US sanctions against Iran and expectations that the Federal Reserve will refrain from raising interest rates next month also supported regional sentiment. The US economy added a stronger-than-expected 227,000 jobs in January against expectations of 175,000. The unemployment rate inched up to 4.8 percent from 4.7 percent in December and the annual rate of average hourly employee earnings growth slowed to 2.5 percent from 2.8 percent, pushing back the need for Fed officials to hike interest rates at their March meeting. Further, Chinese shares ended higher, even as a private business survey showed growth in China's services sector lost momentum at the start of 2017. The Caixin China General Services Business Activity Index fell to 53.1 in January from December's 17-month high of 53.4.
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