It is always encouraging to start the week with a holy occasion -- especially when we ended the previous week off on a jittery "Friday the 13th" trading session. Pope Benedict's XVI 80th birthday on Monday could, if anything, set a positive tone to the trading week.
But leading up to that, the weekend is set for a big financial pow-wow as the Group of Seven finance ministers and central bankers head to Washington D.C. for the IMF and World Bank meetings. Topping the agenda -- discussions on global imbalances in exchange rates. But whether or not the yen's weakness will be singled out, remains a question mark.
Watching U.S. Inflation
Yet another week goes by with Asian investors fretting over the direction of U.S. interest rates. More clues will be unveiled next week as U.S.March Consumer Price Index (CPI)numbers are released on Tuesday. That will set the direction for markets in Asia. Remember, stocks sank mid-week after minutes of the previous FOMC meeting suggested that inflation, rather than an economic slowdown, was the primary concern for the central bank. Even though Chicago's Fed President Moskow stopped short of calling for a rate hike, the March CPI data will offer much-needed clarity on the central bank's next move.