Asia Pacific markets are set for a calm and cautious start to the week ahead of a data packed week. The action starts mid-session today with China GDP, and continues with important activity and inflation reads around the globe. The numbers drop against the backdrop of the US reporting season. Trade concerns remain a key risk to market health.

Investor concerns about trade disruption eased at the end of last week. European and US stocks were steady, the US dollar eased and gold and oil made modest gains. The lack of news flow about trade barriers helped. Potential escalation and possible hits to business and consumer confidence could limit any gains today.

China GDP is expected to show the economy grew at 6.7% during Q2. Retail sales for June are forecast up at 8.8%, but industrial production could slow to an annual growth rate around 6.5% from 6.8% previously. With growth a top investment theme these numbers and US retail sales tonight could determine the direction of markets over the next 24 hours.

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