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Full calendar to drive markets

Muted leads and an event packed week point to a cautious start for Asia Pacific markets. Interest rate decisions from the US Federal Reserve and the Reserve Bank of Australia drop amid important inflation and activity reads around the globe over the next five days. Today’s focus is China PMIs ahead of the Fed’s preferred measure of inflation tonight.

A week of US dollar strength ended with a whimper despite stronger than forecast GDP and wage data on Friday night. Euro and Yen weakness are likely to continue after the ECB stayed put and Japanese inflation and consumer data disappointed. Bond markets moderated at higher yield levels, but the US ten year remains just below 3%. Traders are looking for higher US inflation, a hawkish Fed and a rebound in non-farm payrolls at the end of the week. If the numbers drop as expected the US dollar is likely to resume its climb.

Both manufacturing and non-manufacturing PMIs for April are expected to show a small drop in activity in China when released mid-session today. Copper slumped 2% - 2.5% in European and US trading on Friday night, and industrial commodity weakness could continue today on these reads.

In Australia the RBA is unlikely to shift on interest rates or its economic forecasts at the rate decision on Tuesday or at the release of its quarterly statement on Friday. New Zealand jobs and wages are forecast steady to slightly positive, with consensus that unemployment will remain at 4.5% in the first quarter.

Futures markets are pointing to gains in Hong Kong and Shanghai, and a small drop in Tokyo.  The forecast flat start for the Australia 200 index may sour after the Chair of the wealth manager AMP’s board announced her resignation this morning in response to damaging testimony at the ongoing Royal Commission into the finance industry.

Here's the rest of the major announcements on the Economic calendar (Source: CMC platform)

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