Asian equity markets ended higher on Thursday, although Japanese markets remained under pressure owing to the yen's overnight strength. Trading volumes remained rather thin in the wake of growing concerns over political instability in Europe and lingering uncertainty over US President Donald Trump's policies. With cues waited from Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's meeting with US President Donald Trump Friday in Washington, D.C., investors ignored better-than-expected core machinery orders data. Reports showed Japan's Core machinery orders rose 6.7 percent in December from the previous month, beating forecasts for an increase of 3.1 percent. Meanwhile, Chinese shares closed at a two-month high after reports that China would step up supply-side reforms and reduce overcapacity in the construction material sector. The Malaysian market was closed for Thaipusam festival.
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