Asian equity markets ended mostly higher on Friday, supported by Wall Street's gains overnight after US President Donald Trump promised a ‘phenomenal’ tax plan to lower the burden on American businesses. Trump also issued belated well-wishes to China for the Lunar New Year and sought to work with President Xi Jinping to ‘develop a constructive relationship’ that benefits both countries, the White House said in a statement, potentially alleviating concerns about a major shift in Washington's relations with Beijing. While Trump's promise to announce ‘something phenomenal on taxes in the next 2 to 3 weeks’ lifted the dollar to a 1-1/2-week high versus the Japanese yen, gold extended overnight losses and Treasuries retreated for a second day. Japanese shares rallied as the yen weakened against the dollar ahead of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's meeting with Trump. Reports suggest that Abe will put forward an economic co-operation package including a $150 billion five-part investment package in US infrastructure when they meet later today. Further, Chinese shares ended higher as investors cheered trade data and Russian President Vladimir Putin confirmed his readiness to take part in the 'One Belt, One Road' summit in Beijing in May this year. China's January exports rose an annual 7.9 percent in dollar terms on stronger global demand, rebounding from the previous month's contraction, while imports rose by 16.7 percent, preliminary data showed.
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