Japan to hog the spotlight this week

Japan will hoard the market spotlight this week with the release of the latest quarterly growth data and as the Bank of Japan (BOJ) meets to discuss the next steps in monetary policy.

The third-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) figures due on Monday are expected to show the world's third-largest economy growing an annualized 2.1 percent, according to the forecasts by Reuters, recovering from the previous quarter's 7.1 percent contraction.

The GDP print is widely seen as the determining factor in Abe's decision on whether to delay raising the consumption tax further to 10 percent from 8 percent.

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Pedestrians walk past an advertisement for a post-quake reconstruction project in Tokyo, Japan.
Haruyoshi Yamaguchi | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Pedestrians walk past an advertisement for a post-quake reconstruction project in Tokyo, Japan.

"We are looking for Q3 GDP of about 2 percent annualized, roughly in line with market expectations but the risk is for a negative surprise," said Izumi Devalier, Japan economist at HSBC. "I wouldn't be surprised if the number [came in] below 1 percent and that would definitely underscore the weakness of the recovery."

The BOJ meets on Wednesday and observers expect the central bank to leave its monetary policy unchanged after shocking global financial markets last month by expanding its already-massiveasset-buying program.

Meanwhile, Japanese trade for the month of October is due on Friday. A Reuters poll forecast exports will increase an annual 4.5 percent after rising 6.9 percent in September while imports will register a 3.4 percent on-year increase versus a 6.2 percent gain in the month before. Trade balance is expected to register another deficit of 1,050 billion yen compared to the 958.3 billion yen deficit in September.

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China health check

In China, investors will be watching two key events. The first is the release of the October house price index on Tuesday. A report from the China Index Academy (CIA) showed property prices declined for the sixth straight month, as the sector continues to cool.

On Thursday, HSBC will release the flash purchasing managers' index (PMI) for the month of November, after its final print for October came in at a three-month high of 50.4. The official PMI from the government for October registered at 50.8 – a five-month low.

Meanwhile, the keenly-anticipated Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect kicks off trade on Monday.The so-called "through train" scheme represents a major step in China's efforts to open up its capital market and will allow foreign investors to place buy or sell orders on Shanghai's A-share market through brokers in Hong Kong. Chinese investors meanwhile will be able to use mainland brokers to invest in Hong Kong's H-share market.

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Elsewhere in Asia

In Australia, minutes from the last central bank meeting will be released on Tuesday followed by a speech by Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) governor Glenn Stevens.

"The message [from Glenn Stevens] is likely to remain one of interest rate stability continuing for a while yet," said Shane Oliver, head of investment strategy and chief economist at AMP Capital said in a note. The RBA left its key interest rate steady at a record low of 2.5 percent for a 14th straight policy meeting last month.

Elsewhere, Thailand releases third-quarter GDP on Monday. Moody's Analytics sees growth of 0.8 percent year-on-year, following a 0.4 percent gain in the previous quarter. Singapore's non-oil domestic exports (NODX) for October is also due.