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Asia: the week ahead

Friday, November 11, 2011 - 02:13

Nov. 11 - Regional data will hold little sway over markets, with the Italian crisis providing cues for traders. Japan's central bank debates a response to the continued strength of the yen. Jonathan Gordon reports.

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Italy is the new ground zero of the euro zone crisis -- and it should dominate discussions as global leaders including Barack Obama and Hu Jintao gather in Hawaii for the APEC summit. The U.S. President will then travel to Bali, Indonesia to meet with Asean leaders. The summits come as the benchmark MSCI Asia Ex Japan index trades near 3-week lows... supported by the 55-day moving average just below. But the one chart people in Japan are watching is dollar/yen. Japan has succeeded in weakening the currency so far after that big intervention on October 31st But Stanchart FX strategist Robert Minikin says soft Japanese appetite for overseas assets will see the yen again strengthen towards 76 by year's end. SOUNDBITE (English) STANDARD CHARTERED, SENIOR FX STRATEGIST, ROBERT MINIKIN, SAYING: "To be frank, we think the yen is going to be relatively strong over the first half of next year... so it's going to be a period of periodic intervention by the bank of Japan to weaken the yen, but we think it's going to be a sustained campaign but it's not going to drive dollar/yen significantly higher. " The country is also expected to report its GDP rose 1.5 percent quarter on quarter, but the focus is squarely on the last three months of the year. Analysts say Asia's second largest economy could even shrink given the impact of floods in Thailand, a major production base for Japanese companies Traders will also look to Singapore exports for the latest indication of the region's resilience to a global slowdown. Slackening demand for electronics and petrochemicals already took a big bite out of shipments in September. And in corporate news, sources tell reuters that Olympus will meet with anxious creditors this week to renegotiate loan terms as the camera maker reels from a long-running accounting scam. Shares in the Japanese company have collapsed, and the firm now faces a potential delisting next month. Jon Gordon, for Reuters, in Hong Kong

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Asia: the week ahead

Friday, November 11, 2011 - 02:13