Week ahead in Asia: Japan data, earnings

Japan will be the market to watch this week on the back of key economic releases and as earnings season in the world's third-largest economy kicks into full gear. Data from China and a monetary policy decision from the U.S. Federal Reserve will also be in focus for traders.


Nissan Motor is expected to report a first-quarter operating profit of more than 110 billion yen for the April-June period and forecast further growth ahead on a full-year basis, according to the Nikkei newspaper.


Japanese employment, household spending and retail sales for the month of June are all due for release before Tokyo's market open.

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The country's unemployment rate is forecast to remain at a sixteen-year low of 3.5 percent, unchanged from May's reading. Moody's Analytics sees household spending dropping 4 percent on month, compared to May's 8 percent slump, but warned of a brighter outlook ahead.

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"Sales should stabilize in the coming months, although the year‐ago headline will remain sharply negative. Consumer sentiment has begun to improve, and underlying demand is stable," analysts said in a report.

The firm predicts a 0.2 percent monthly dip in retail sales, a slight improvement from May's 0.4 percent fall.

Earnings from Nomura, Shinsei Bank, Japan Airlines and Honda Motor will be released after the market close.

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Focus for the day will be on the U.S. Federal Reserve's monetary policy decision as the central bank concludes a two-day meeting. Analysts widely expect the Fed to reduce its monthly asset purchases by another $10 billion to $25 billion a month.

"Most interest will likely be on the tone of the Fed's post meeting statement, which is likely to acknowledge the improvement in the economy but leave the impression the first rate hike is still some time away. My best guess for the first rate hike remains mid next year, but this doesn't mean financial markets won't start to worry about it earlier," said Shane Oliver, head of investment strategy at AMP in a note.

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Japanese industrial production for June is also on tap. Economists surveyed by MNI forecasted a 1.2 percent monthly fall, which would mark the first decline in two months.

All Nippon Airways (ANA), Nintendo, steelmaker JFE, telco KDDI and Mitsubishi Motors will report earnings after the bell.


Quarterly results from Sony, Toshiba, Fujitsu, Panasonic, Mitsubishi UFJ and Mizuho are all due after the market close.

South Korea's Samsung Electronics is also out with earnings. Earlier this month, the tech giant warned its operating profit could fall a two-year low for the April-June quarter.

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Finally, the week ends with China's official purchasing manager's index (PMI) for July. A flash reading from HSBC last week showed manufacturing activity at an 18-month high of 52 and investors will be watching to see if Beijing's figure will extend gains from 51.0 in June. The 50-level separates expansion from contraction.