Asia stocks seen cautious before China GDP
Asian equity markets are set for a cautious start to trade on Wednesday ahead of China's closely-watched economic growth report.
Japan's benchmark index is set to extend gains into a third session. Stock futures in Osaka and Chicago traded at 20,490 and 20,540 respectively, well above the Nikkei's eleven-day closing high of 20,385.
In Australia, the S&P ASX 200 could see a flat-to-higher open. Futures rose 0.3 percent to 5,536, but that was still lower than the benchmark's twelve-day closing high of 5,577.
A positive handover from Wall Street could boost sentiment. The Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 closed up 0.4 percent and 0.45 percent respectively, while the Nasdaq ended 0.7 percent higher as second-quarter earnings season kicked off, with reports from the likes of JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo and Johnson & Johnson.
Focus in Asia falls on a deluge of Chinese economic data, including second-quarter gross domestic product (GDP), fixed asset investment, industrial output and foreign direct investment. Economists predict GDP growth dipped below 7 percent in the April-June period, following a 7 percent expansion in January-March.
Greece remains in the spotlight after Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras went on national television on Tuesday, saying the country has no choice but to accept what he called a "one-way street" European bailout deal. Faced with opposition from his own Syriza party, Tsipras urged passage of the deal in a parliament vote later today, saying banks would not be able to open until the agreement was ratified.
The Bank of Japan (BOJ) announces its monetary policy decision later in the day. While the majority of analysts don't expect any change, investors will be watching for whether the central bank downgrades its economic growth forecast and how it reacts to China's recent market volatility.
Oil will be in focus as prices recovered overnight after losing more than 1 percent during Tuesday's Asian session. Tehran and six major powers signed a landmark nuclear deal on Tuesday that will remove some sanctions against Tehran in exchange for restrictions on its nuclear program. That could see a return of Iranian crude to export markets, which is likely to worsen oil's supply glu
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