BOJ, Fed meetings could sway sentiment amid earnings deluge

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The final week of July is expected to be a busy one in Asia Pacific, with the region entering the thick of its earnings season while monetary policy decisions from central banks in the United States and Japan are due.

The Bank of Japan (BOJ) will begin its two-day policy meeting on Thursday, and further policy easing is expected by market watchers.

At the G20 meeting in China which concluded over the weekend, BOJ governor Haruhiko Kuroda said he was prepared to further ease monetary policy, if necessary, to achieve the central bank's 2 percent inflation target, reported Reuters.

"Japan will report inflation figures on Friday, which is expected to show the economy fell further into deflation," said Mohammed Apabhai, head of Asia Pacific Trading Strategies at Citi in a note on Sunday.

Kuroda also dismissed speculations about "helicopter money" - essentially printing money and distributing payouts -, saying it would be prohibited by law if it meant the BOJ directly underwriting government debt, said Reuters.

Analysts at Societe Generale said on a Monday note the BOJ faced myriad problems that would likely influence its monetary policy decisions. These include weak output growth, deflationary pressures, stronger currency and intense speculation about additional policy easing.

"We expect the BOJ to expand its asset purchases yet again, as well as cut the policy rate by another 10 basis points to negative 0.2 percent," the Societe Generale analysts said.

The market also expects forthcoming fiscal stimulus to prop up Japan's anemic growth, limit deflationary pressures and counter possible drawbacks from global events such as the UK's decision to leave the European Union.

The Japanese government is compiling a stimulus package of at least 20 trillion yen ($188 billion), Japan's Kyodo News reported on Thursday, citing sources close to the matter.

In Asia Pacific, earnings are due from a number of companies including Hyundai Motor, Nissan, Nintendo, Samsung Electronics, Singapore Airlines and LG Electronics.

Stateside, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) is due to meet on Tuesday and Wednesday, with traders largely expecting the Fed to stand pat on rates. But traders will closely watch the policy statement for clues for the timing of the next hike.

"After a very dovish tone in June, the FOMC statement this time may translate a more upbeat flavor amid recent data strength and put back a rate hike on the table this year," said Cynthia Kalasopatan from Mizuho Bank.

On tap this week:

Monday

Indonesia - Q2 foreign direct investment, 10 a.m. HK/SIN

Japan - June trade data, 7:50 a.m. HK/SIN

Singapore - June consumer price index, 1 p.m. HK/SIN

Earnings - Bursa Malaysia, Fortune REIT

Tuesday

Singapore - Industrial production, June, 1 p.m. HK/SIN

South Korea - Q2 advance GDP, 7 a.m. HK/SIN

U.S. - Federal Open Market Committee meeting

Earnings - Monex, Matsui Securities, Canon, Mapletree Industrial Trust, Parkway Life REIT, Bank Danamon, Hyundai Motors, SK Hynix

Wednesday

Australia - Q2 consumer price index, 9:30 a.m. HK/SIN

China - Industrial profits, 9:30 a.m. HK/SIN

U.S. - Federal Open Market Committee policy decision

Earnings - Siam Cement, Singapore Exchange, Nissan, Nintendo, Advantest, Fanuc, LG Display, Kia Motors, SK Telecom, UMC, AU Optronics, Bajaj Auto

Thursday

Japan - Bank of Japan policy meeting

Singapore - Unemployment rate, 10:30 a.m. HK/SIN

Thailand - Industrial production, June, 11 a.m. HK/SIN

Earnings - Seiko Epson, Murata Manufacturing, Nomura, Fujitsu, Nippon Steel and Sumitomo Metal, Japan Exchange, Kyocera, Singapore Airlines, UOB, OCBC, Sembcorp Marine, Samsung Electronics, LG Electronics, Naver, KT Corp, Hang Lung, Henderson Group

Friday

Australia - Q2 producer price index, 9:30 a.m. HK/SIN

Japan - June consumer price index, household spending and Jobless rate, 7:30 a.m. HK/SIN

Japan - June retail sales, industrial production, 7:50 a.m. HK/SIN

Japan - Bank of Japan policy decision

South Korea - Retail sales, industrial production, 7 a.m. HK/SIN

Earnings - NTT DoCoMo, Panasonic, Mizuho Financial, Tokyo Electron, Sony, Takeda Pharmaceutical, Daiichi Sankyo, GS Yuasa, Mazda Motor, Japan Airlines, ICICI Bank, Bank Negara Indonesia

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