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Week ahead: China, central banks are key event risks

Asia markets will have to contend with Chinese economic data for April alongside a slew of central bank policy decisions across the region in the week ahead.

On Monday, HSBC is due to release its final reading of manufacturing activity in the world's second biggest economy. It's preliminary reading stood at 48.3, marking a fourth straight month of contraction, and markets will be watching if the final figure matches China'official reading of 50.4.

However, all eyes will be on Thursday's trade figures following March's shocking 6.6 percent tumble in exports.

Read MoreChina to overtake US economy; India trumps Japan

"China's foreign trade has been downbeat. Exports fell in year-on-year terms in February and March, and imports were similarly weak. Some of the export weakness reflects corrections from fake over-invoicing a year ago, but there are clearly some real demand issues at play. April data will show if the recent yuan depreciation has had any impact on export competitiveness," said analysts at Moody's Analytics in a note.

Consumer price and producer price inflation data are due Friday. March saw a drop in annual consumer inflation as foodprices eased following the spike during the Lunar New Year holidays and the declining trend is likely to continue.

"Inflation data are expected to show a fall back in CPI inflation to 2.1 percent," said Shane Oliver, head of investment strategy and chief economist at AMP Capital.

Read MoreChina consumer prices rise 2.4% in March

Producer prices in China have remained mired in deflationary territory for over two years as high inventories in industrial sectors force down prices and analysts widely agree that April's figure won't be any different.

Stringer | AFP | Getty Images

If any of April's data releases do disappoint,investors won't be able to rely on hopes of future monetary easing to cushion the blow. In an article published Thursday, Premier Li Keqiang repeated that Beijing won't be loosening policy in the short term to shore up the economy.

Read MoreChina's servicesgrowth accelerates in April

Central bank watch

Australia is the first country whose central bank meets. According to HSBC, the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) is expected to leave its cash rate steady at 2.5 percent on Tuesday as it emphasizes a period of interest rate stability.

"Market pricing currently suggests that the next hike is unlikely to arrive before April 2015. We expect an earlier hike, perhaps as soon as Q4. This reflects our view that momentum in the domestic economy is lifting and that this will more than offset the impact of the decline in mining investment that is also underway," said Paul Bloxham, economist at HSBC Australia

Indonesia and the Philippines will announce their respective monetary policy decisions on Thursday while the Bank of Korea will meet Friday.

While no action is expected from Jakarta and Seoul, some experts say a rate hike may be on the cards for the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) after it raised banks' reserve requirement ratio in March, a move understood as indicating the start of a policy tightening cycle.

Read MorePhilippines - next to join the TPP?

Outside of Asia, the European Central Bank's meeting on Thursday will also be in the spotlight amid talk that it could unveil further monetary easing in response to a stronger euro and weak bank lending data.

Meanwhile, Japan's earning season continues in full swing with heavyweights Nintendo, Softbank, Toyota Motor and Rakuten reporting this week.

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