Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is expected to co-opt a rival and draft more women to spruce up his image while keeping key ministers.
Britain's parliament has rejected Chinese calls to scrap an inquiry into Hong Kong's progress towards democracy.
Chinese oil producers are preparing to ramp up multi-billion dollar capital spending plans squeezed amid a Beijing probe into industry graft.
Charts suggest that the downtrend in the euro/dollar is firm ahead of the European Central Bank's (ECB) policy meeting on Thursday.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average posted its largest annual gain last year and while momentum has slowed, investors are questioning whether the rise has run its course.
As the war of words between Australian dollar bears and bulls continues charts indicate that the bears may have the right call in the short term.