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South Korea Trade Balance Due On Thursday

South Korea will on Thursday announce February results for imports, exports and trade balance, highlighting a busy day for Asia-Pacific economic activity. Imports are expected to jump 20.9 percent on year after adding 3.3 percent in January. Exports are tipped to rise 16.4 percent on year following the 7.0 percent contraction in the previous month. The trade balance is expected to show a surplus of $1.25 billion after showing a $2.033 billion deficit a month earlier.

Japan will release Q4 numbers for capital spending, as well as January figures for loans and discounts and February data for vehicle sales and reserve assets. Capital spending is expected to fall 6.5 percent after plunging 9.8 percent in the third quarter. Excluding software, capex is expected to shed 7.4 percent after falling 11.0 percent in the previous three months. Reserve assets were at $1.306 trillion in January, while vehicle sales spiked 40.7 percent on year.

China will provide February results for its manufacturing PMI and the HSBC manufacturing PMI. The manufacturing PMI is expected to show a score of 50.8, up from 50.5 in January. The HSBC PMI saw a score of 48.8 in the previous month.

Australia will announce February results for its manufacturing PMI, as well as January numbers for building approvals and Q4 data for capital expenditures. The PMI saw a score of 51.6 in January. Building approvals are expected to rise 2 percent on month after easing 1 percent in December. Capex is tipped to add 3.8 percent on quarter after spiking 12.3 percent in the previous three months.

Indonesia will release January figures for imports, exports and trade balance, as well as February's inflation rate. Imports are expected to surge 28.8 percent on year after jumping 24.3 percent in December. Exports are called higher by an annual 15.2 percent following the 2.2 percent gain in the previous month. The trade balance is expected to show a surplus of $415 million, down from $860 million a month earlier. The inflation rate is called at 3.8 percent, up from 3.65 percent in January.

Thailand will announce the inflation rate for February, with forecasts expecting 3.5 percent - up from 3.38 percent in January. Core CPI is called steady at 2.75 percent.

India will provide January figures for imports, exports and trade balance. Imports are tipped to jump 20.3 percent on year after adding 19.8 percent in December. Exports are seen higher by an annual 10.1 percent following the 6.7 percent increase in the previous month. The trade balance is expected to show a deficit of $14.7 billion after showing a $12.7 billion shortfall a month earlier.

The central bank in the Philippines will conclude its monetary policy meeting and then announce its decision on interest rates. The bank is widely expected to trim rates by 25 basis points, from 4.25 percent to 4.00 percent.

Hong Kong will release January figures for retail sales. By value, sales are expected to jump 24 percent on year following the 23.4 percent gain in December. By volume, sales are called higher by 16.8 percent following the 17.1 percent increase in the previous month.

Finally, the stock markets in South Korea will be closed on Thursday in observance of Independence Movement Day, and will re-open on Friday.

by RTT Staff Writer

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