Asia headed for a big data day with macro drivers

Asia is headed for a big data day with macro drivers, including Japan’s Tankan, China’s HSBC manufacturing PMI and India’s wholesale price inflation.

The BOJ’s Tankan survey started off with high expectations, but the data showed mixed results. The weak yen has benefited large manufacturers when the index rose to 16, but CAPEX was at a disappointing 4.6% from 5.1%, compared to the previous month. The quarterly Tankan report is one of the most influential pieces of data – it measures the confidence readings of large manufacturers.

The futures on the Nikkei pared back after the reading on the CAPEX raised concerns on the economic growth for next year. Consumption is expected to slow down and whether Abenomics will sustain its momentum after a strong start.

China’s HSBC/Markit manufacturing PMI for December should show a positive reading, signalling the momentum of recovery in the Chinese economy and stronger global demand for exports. Officials have maintained their efforts to rein in credit growth and stability in the manufacturing sector has given investors’ confidence. Improvements in PMI in the past have been in larger manufacturers, while smaller companies are struggling. Today’s HSBC survey would show how the smaller companies are managing.

India’s RBI is expected to hike rates by 25bps to counter high inflation. Today’s wholesale price index (WPI) is likely to maintain the levels seen in October of 7%. The consumer price index, last week, jumped to 11.24% for November, from 10.17% in October. This prompted Rajan to say, 'we are very uncomfortable with the current level of inflation'. It also sparked a retreat in the equity markets. Since Rajan took over the helm in September, the RBI has hiked rates by 50bps and the rupee has stabilised from 68.8 to 62. The Indian stock market which has touched a record high on the state election is likely to remain muted ahead of the RBI meeting on Wednesday.

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