China data to dominate week in Asia

What's on the agenda in Asia
What's on the agenda in Asia   

With Chinese stocks in the spotlight following recent stellar gains, a data deluge from Beijing could move markets further this week.

Trade, inflation, industrial output, retail sales figures and fixed asset investment for November are on tap. The reports come amid expectations of more broad-based stimulus measures from the People's Bank of China (PBoC) following a surprise interest rate cut late last month.

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"November data will likely show China's economy running below potential, adding to speculation about further monetary easing," said economists at Moody's Analytics in a note.

Revised Japanese growth data will also be in focus alongside Australian employment figures and a raft of central bank decisions.

China data breakdown

Trade data on Monday is expected to paint a gloomy picture for exports.

"We estimate that export growth fell from 11.6 percent on year in October to 7.5 percent in November, and import growth from 4.6 percent on year to 3.5 percent," said Citi in a report.

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Still, China's trend of record trade surpluses is set to continue, with Citi predicting a $43.1 billion surplus compared with October's $45.5 billion surplus.

Consumer price inflation (CPI) on Wednesday is likely to remain at a five-year low, unchanged from October, while producer price inflation (PPI) is expected to drop 2.4 percent on year, versus a 2.2 percent fall in October, said Shane Oliver, head of investment strategy and chief economist at AMP Capital.

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This leaves plenty of room for further PBoC interest rate cuts, he noted.

Industrial output likely decelerated last month, with Moody's predicting an annual rise of 7.6 percent, slightly lower than October's 7.7 percent gain. Beijing factories were temporarily closed in November to ease pollution before the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit, which likely stalled production, the group said.

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Retail sales could see an 11.6 percent annual rise, following October's 11.5 percent gain, according to Citi. Lastly, Citi sees year-to-date fixed asset investment growth dropping to 15.7 percent on year following a 15.9 percent gain in the previous month, which was a 13-year low.

Elsewhere in Asia

Japan's revised third-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) showed the economy shrank more than initially estimated, with growth contractingan annualized 1.9 percent.October's current account balance showed a surplus of 833 billion yen, better than expectations for a surplus of 366 billion yen.

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Australian employment figures for November could show the economy created 15,000 jobs and the unemployment rate inching up to 6.3 percent, according to Goldman Sachs estimates. That would mark a slower pace than October's 24,000 reading and 6.2 percent unemployment.

Meanwhile, monetary policy decisions in South Korea, the Philippines and Indonesia are due this week but no change is expected.