Asian equity markets ended mostly lower on Thursday, with a firmer yen sending Japanese shares tumbling. Trading sentiments weakened further on uncertainty about what US President Donald Trump means for the global economy. The Federal Reserve's Open Market Committee on Wednesday reiterated its expectations for moderate economic growth while leaving benchmark interest rates unchanged, in line with expectations. The statement noted improvements in consumer and business sentiment while cautioning that market-based measures of inflation compensation are ‘still low’. The dollar remained on the defensive as Fed policymakers offered little clarity on the possible impact of Trump's economic policies on interest rate outlook. Chinese markets remained closed for the Lunar New Year holidays.
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