Asian markets are expected to begin the week on upswing gains on the speculation of further stimulus measures from the central banks around the world to boost the fragile global economy. Most Asian markets ended last week on a negative note as investor confidence was weighed down by the mounting concerns over the euro zone debt crisis.
Market participants will be focused on the U.S. and Europe as the European Central Bank (ECB) and the Federal Reserve hold key meetings next week. Expectations got high after ECB president Mario Draghi pledged Thursday that the bank was ready to do "whatever it takes" to help support the euro.
Draghi suggested that the size of the sovereign risk premium in Spain and Italy was hampering the functioning of the monetary policy transmission channel and, therefore, came within the mandate of the central bank. Draghi's comments came ahead of the ECB policy setting meeting and market participants interpreted his comments as a signal that the bank might restart the sovereign bond purchases under its Securities Market Program (SMP).
However, the Fed will want to wait for more data, particularly on employment, before considering any significant policy changes. The U.S. Department of Labor's monthly non-farm payrolls report, which is the most closely watched economic statement pertaining to the job market and a key gauge for the direction and pace of the economic recovery, will be released Friday. Economists expect a rise of 90,000 jobs last month and an unchanged unemployment rate at 8.2 percent.
"We expect the description of economic conditions in the 1 August FOMC statement to be more downbeat, consistent with the slowdown in Q2 economic activity. However, the Fed is unsure if the slowdown will endure and will want to closely monitor employment market conditions before considering further policy accommodation," said a note from Credit Agricole.
In Asia, market participants are likely to focus on economic releases as heavy data is due to be released during the week, including data from China. China is due to release manufacturing and services PMIs Wednesday and Friday respectively, which are expected to show slight improvement.
China will be in focus again as any indication of improvement in the country's growth momentum would be a major positive factor for regional sentiment and will set the tone for the mood in the regional market. The world's second largest economy may also announce further measures to boost growth, including a RRR cut and new capital spending plans.
Among the other economic releases, the Korean industrial production for the month of May is expected to show an 1.8 percent growth on an annual basis and the Taiwanese GDP growth will remain very slow at 0.45 percent on the annual basis while inflation in Thailand and Indonesia will see a modest pickup for the month of July.
In India, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is scheduled to hold the policy review meeting Tuesday. Analysts expect the RBI to stay put because of high inflation, price pressures mounting because of food price outlook and a weak currency.
The recent economic releases from Asia's third largest economy point to a sluggish economic activity and bring to the fore the need for timely and effective policies to turn the economy around. Analysts at Credit Agricole have said that the RBI appears unwilling to do much more until it sees further efforts from the government to bring down the deficit and expand the productive capacity in the economy.