China will likely remain the key focus for Asian markets this week, with the release of a string of economic data and as the annual meeting of China's highest organ of state power continues.
The week-long National People's Congress, which began last Thursday, saw the world's second-largest economy peg its 2015 gross domestic product (GDP) growth target at "around 7 percent." The target, announced by Premier Li Keqiang, was the lowest in 11 years and marks a sharp decline from last year's 7.5 percent target.
Earlier this month, the People's Bank of China unleashed a sooner-than-expected interest rate cut amid the country's ongoing battle with slowing economic growth. The move followed a lending rate reduction on November 21 and a reserve requirement ratio cut (RRR) on February 5.
How will China fare?
On tap for Tuesday at 0930 SIN/HK, the consumer price index (CPI) for February is seen rising 0.9 percent from a year ago. That would be a tick higher than January's 0.8 percent, which was the weakest reading since November 2009, during the global financial crisis.
Wholesale prices for the same month may put a stop to a 35-month-long decline as economists polled by Reuters expect the producer price index (PPI) to drop an annual 4.3 percent, unchanged from the previous month's reading.
Meanwhile, retail sales, fixed asset investment, industrial production and M2 – the mainland's broadest measure of money supply – for February are also due this week. The raft of data could paint a picture of continued slowdown in China and will likely exert "ongoing pressure for further monetary easing," wrote Shane Oliver, head of investment strategy and chief economist at AMP Capital.