Shanghai Auto Show Drives In, U.S. GDP Follows

As market participants do their best to shake off repercussions of a booming Chinese economy, economists around the world will be gearing-up for yet another GDP release, this time from the U.S., where many await news on the extent of an economic slowdown.

But a pleasant distraction from all that talk about data -- the Shanghai Motor Show kicks off this weekend -- where wheeling and dealing will take place for the next generation of luxury automobiles.

Economic Data

On Saturday, OPEC members will keep a close eye on Nigeria’s landmark presidential election, adding a new face to the geopolitical oil arena.

Business Calendar April 23 - 27

Monday April 23 Singapore March CPI
Tuesday April 24 U.S. March Existing Home Sales, Australia Q1 CPI
Wednesday April 25 U.S. Fed Beige Book, U.S. March New Home Sales
Friday April 27 U.S. Q1 GDP, BOJ Semi-Annual Economic Outlook, Japan March CPI, Japan March Unemployment

As Monday rounds the corner, South Asian investors will be watching for signs of inflation as Singapore releases its March Consumer Price Index, followed by Australia’s first quarter CPI due out the next day.

Also on Tuesday, the Reserve Bank of India will meet to review the nation’s monetary policy amongst worries of an overheated economy. The RBI has raised its key lending rate five times in the past year in an effort to fight inflation.

In the U.S., analysts will watch to see if rising gasoline prices and worries over the U.S. sub prime market will take a bite out of April’s Consumer Confidence data. Existing Home Sales figures for March are also due out that day.

Continuing with U.S. data, the midweek brings a flurry of economic releases; Durable Goods, Fed Beige Book and New Home Sales will all be posted on Wednesday.

On Thursday, Nissan Motors is expected to reveal their new restructuring plan, as CEO Carlos Ghosn vows to get the automaker back on track.

And on Friday, the most important piece of data for the week is released as the U.S. announces its first-quarter gross domestic product. Analysts predict the data will reveal further slowing in economic activity down to 2.0%. Following the GDP release, University of Michigan’s Consumer Sentiment data will also be published, and this is expected to dip to an eight-month low of 85.3 in April.

Ending the week with a ka-ching, rather than a bang, international investors will keep watch on the biggest IPO of the year as China Citic Bank makes its the Hong Kong and Shanghai debut. Sources close to the company say the bank has already raised $5.4 billion in stock.

Earnings Galore

Standing out on the earnings calendar, market players will be watching to see if everyone really does love the iPod as Apple releases its Q1 2007 earnings results.

Other major company earnings to be released in the workweek ahead include:

Asian Corporate Earnings Calendar

Monday April 23 Chugai Pharmaceuticals
Wednesday April 25 Honda, Apple
Thursday April 26 Keppel Corp., ST Engineering, JVC, Fujitsu, Toshiba, Nintendo
Friday April 27 China CITIC Bank, Nippon Steel, ANA, JR East, Rinker


Australia and New Zealand celebrate ANZAC day on Wednesday. Markets in these two countries are closed. Malaysia takes Thursday off to for the Bursa market holiday.

And CNBC's very own Managing Asia celebrates its tenth anniversary. Visit the website for a special showcase of our favorite interviews over the past decade.


Looking Back

And that’s the week ahead for Asia. We'll leave you with some special days of note …

This Week In History

1564 April 23 William Shakespeare was born
1981 April 24 First IBM computer is introduced
1926 April 25 Reza Khan is crowned Shah of Iran, under the name Reza Shah Pahlavi
1986 April 26 The world's worst nuclear accident occurs at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Ukraine
1981 April 27 Xerox PARC introduced the computer mouse