Asian equity markets ended mostly in green on Friday after a strong session in the US that reflected solid corporate earnings and renewed expectations for tax cuts and fiscal stimulus from the Trump administration. US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin indicated on Thursday that the Trump administration is close to bringing forward a major tax reform plan ‘very soon’, regardless of the outcome of a healthcare overhaul bill. The Japanese yen weakened and crude prices rose after four days of losses, further supporting sentiment heading toward the Sunday presidential election in France. The outcome is too close to call, although polls show centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron with a narrow lead. Investors also kept an eye on other developments in France after a French policeman was shot dead in Paris and two others were wounded in a suspected terrorist attack. Japanese shares ended higer as bets that US tax reforms are gaining traction and comments from a Federal Reserve official affirming that three Fed rate hikes this year remain appropriate helped weaken the yen against the dollar. Further, Chinese shares ended marginally higher but posted their worst weekly loss this year on concerns over cooling growth and tightening regulatory scrutiny.
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