After two weeks of holiday-shortened trade, markets in Asia resume regular trading this week, with attention likely to remain on fluctuating oil prices and a raft of regional economic data.
China: Inflation eyed
On Friday, the mainland is scheduled to put out its key inflation gauge for December.
Moody's Analytics expects the consumer price index (CPI) to rise 1.6 percent from the year-ago period, a tick higher from November's 1.4 percent rise – which was a five-year low.
Weakening inflation numbers, along with a string of soft data, have fanned concerns about a deeper-than-expected slowdown in the Asian economic giant. A rebound in December's inflation rate, however, would not indicate that things are looking up.
"CPI will accelerate year‐on‐year because of a weak result last December," analysts from Moody's Analytics wrote in a note. "Low commodity prices due partly to weak domestic demand, have put downward pressure on consumer prices. China will remain beset by disinflation pressures."
Meanwhile, the wholesale sector is seen entrenched in a deflationary spiral. The producer price index (PPI) will likely fall 2.8 percent on-year in December, worse than the 2.7 percent decrease in the preceding month and chalking up a drop for the 34th consecutive month.
Annual import and export figures for the same month will also be announced on Friday.