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This week's data: All eyes on China

Chinese workers cutting wood at a factory in Dehua, Fujian Province of China.
Kevin Frayer | Getty Images
Chinese workers cutting wood at a factory in Dehua, Fujian Province of China.

China will continue to command the market's attention this week, with its fourth-quarter and full-year gross domestic product (GDP) and other key economic data in the spotlight.

China's economy is largely expected to have decelerated further in the final quarter of 2015, on the back of slower growth in industrial production, fixed asset investment (FIA) and weaker trade. In an indication of the economic difficulties being felt, the People's Bank of China cut interest rates in the fourth quarter, its sixth cut in less than a year.

Economic growth for the three months to December-end is likely to come in 6.8 percent, compared to the same period the previous year, and down from 6.9 percent on-year growth in the third quarter, according to a Reuters poll. The poll showed economists expected China's full-year GDP growth to be 6.9 percent, down from 7.3 percent in 2014.

At the opening ceremony for the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank just over a week ago, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said that China's economy grew about 7 percent in 2015, with services accounting for half of GDP.

China's December industrial production, retail sales and fixed asset investment numbers will also be released on Tuesday.National Bureau of Statistics reported a 7.7 percent on-year rise in average new home prices across 70 major cities in December. This compared to a 6.5 percent increase in November. Property prices are closely watched as a sign of China's economic health.

Taiwan

Taiwan's December domestic trade and industrial production is out on Friday.

Moody's Analytics expects industrial production to weaken in the export-oriented economy, falling 5.1 percent on-year because of subdued global demand.

Domestic trade is expected to improve slightly, due to the government's short-term measures stimulus measures that likely supported retail trade in December, said Moody's, adding that Taiwan's economy would continue to struggle this year.

On the political front, Taiwan's Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) won both presidential and parliamentary elections in a landslide victory on Saturday. The country elected its first female president, Tsai Ing-wen, a pro-independence campaigner whose election is expected to further strain relations with China.

Elsewhere in Asia

On Monday, Japan's November industry activity indices are forecast to soften 0.3 percent compared to last month, after October's strong 0.9 percent gain, said Moody's.

However, without stronger wage growth, industrial activity will likely remain under pressure through 2016, Moody's added.

Meanwhile, in Singapore, non-oil domestic exports (NODX) slid 7.2 percent in December from a year earlier, trade agency International Enterprise said in a statement on Monday, missing the median forecast of a 5.1 percent contraction in a Reuters poll.

On a month-on-month seasonally-adjusted basis, non-oil domestic exports fell 3.1 percent in December, worse than the forecast for steady shipments.

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