Asia Pacific markets are looking at a careful start to the trading week. Weaker European data weighed on stocks and industrial commodities on Friday night. Stronger US non-farm payrolls did little to stem the selling as traders instead pushed out expectations of interest rate cuts. Important numbers from China and Japan, and an accelerating corporate reporting season, give regional investors further reasons to wait and see.

Industrial production in France and Germany slumped in December, confounding forecasts of flat to positive activity. The numbers are particularly concerning after European stocks lifted on better than expected PMIs last week. US Non-farm payrolls increased by 225,000 in January, smashing the consensus of 165,000. Interest rate markets now reflect a higher probability of a cut in September, out from June.

China CPI for January is released around mid-session today, and is forecast to lift to 4.9% pa from December’s 4.5% pa. A significant miss could see further focus on the economic impact of the newly discovered coronavirus.

The Australian company reporting season becomes serious this week for Australian investors, with 38 top companies revealing half year results. Today’s focus is likely JB HiFi, as the consumer goods group provides insights on the health of consumer activity. Highlights this week include AMP, Woodside, Telstra, CSL and Carsales.com

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