Asian equity markets ended mostly higher on Wednesday, with Japanese shares rising after the yen stopped its ascent following Abe's remarks and the latest survey from Nikkei showing Japan's manufacturing sector picked up steam in January, with a PMI score of 52.7, up from 52.4 in December. Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told parliament that the central bank's ultra-loose monetary policy was not aimed at devaluing the yen. Further, Chinese manufacturing as well as services sector data suggested that China's recent recovery remains largely intact at the start of the New Year. China's official manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) for January came in at 51.3, higher than a forecast of 51.2, while the services sector PMI edged up to 54.6 from 54.5 in December. Though, comments from the Trump administration that the US will combat currency manipulation to support American companies coupled with caution ahead of the US Federal Reserve's latest monetary policy decision due later in the day limited overall gains across the region to some extent. Markets in China, Malaysia and Taiwan were closed for public holidays.
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