Central banks, data to dominate week in Asia

What you need to know in Asia this week

Traders can look forward to central bank decisions and economic data from Asia's powerhouses this week.

Monday kicked off with Japan's revised first-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) before the market open and will end with May consumer confidence after the market close.

Japan's economy grew at an annualized rate of 6.7 percent in the first quarter of the year, compared with an initial estimate of 5.9 percent, data showed.

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Meanwhile, Moody's expects a continued decline in consumer confidence: "Consumer confidence has gone down in almost a straight line since mid‐2013 as rising prices unmatched with wage increases caused real incomes to fall. There is little sign of this turning around, especially with the April tax hike," it said in a report.

"The only possible upside is that the tax increase, once implemented, was probably not as painful as households had been bracing for," it added.

On Tuesday, China, the world's second-largest economy, will post consumer price inflation (CPI) and producer price inflation (PPI) for May at 9:30am SIN/HK.

April's reading sparked concerns about deflationary risks, with annual consumer inflation dropping to an 18-month low and producer prices sliding for the 25th straight month, but Barclays expects May figures to paint a brighter picture.

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"We look for a jump in headline CPI inflation to 2.6 percent on year in May, driven by food – in particular pork – prices. We expect PPI deflation to improve to 1.7 percent in May, from 2 percent in April, on higher commodity prices," analysts wrote in a note.

On Wednesday, India will release of May trade figures, consumer price inflation and industrial production. Inflation will be in focus as the annual monsoon season kicks off, which could send food prices higher.

Reserve Bank of India (RBI) boss Raghuram Rajan aims to bring annual headline inflation down to 8 percent next year; inflation stood at 8.59 percent in April.

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On Thursday, Australia will be in the spotlight with May employment data due around 9.30am SIN/HK. According to Moody's, the labor market is gradually healing; it expects Australia to add 15,000 jobs in May – better than 14,200 in April – and the unemployment rate to remain at 5.8 percent.

In Tokyo, April machinery orders will be in focus Thursday as investors look for signs that the April consumption tax hike dented corporate spending. In March machinery orders rose 19 percent on month.

China's data deluge will continue on Friday with fixed asset investment, industrial output and retail sales for May due in the afternoon.

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"The data are expected to show a modest increase in the rate of annual industrial production growth [from 8.7 percent to 8.8 percent on year] and retail [11.9 percent to 12.1 percent] but somewhat slower fixed asset investment [from 17.3 percent to 17.1 percent] on a year-to-date basis," wrote economists at National Australia Bank.

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Central bank Thursday

Monetary policy decision in South Korea, New Zealand and Indonesia are all on tap for Thursday.

Despite the Korean won's recent strength, Citi analysts don't see the Bank of Korea taking action. For Bank Indonesia, they note that it's too soon to anticipate any policy rate changes despite revised current account deficit expectations.

The Reserve Bank of New Zealand is expected to buck the trend with a 25 basis points rate hike to 3.25 percent.

"The real bone of contention is whether Governor Wheeler signals a pause [after hiking rates on Thursday.] We think the Bank will be averse to shutting any doors, either in its commentary or 90-day bank bill projection, given the extent of inflation pressure/risk that's building. We remain over the line for a July hike," noted National Australia Bank economists.

Meanwhile, the Bank of Japan commences its two-day monetary policy meeting on Thursday. Experts don't expect any major changes in its policy statement on Friday.