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Japan Rate Decision On Tap For Wednesday

The Bank of Japan will on Wednesday conclude its monetary policy meeting and then announce its decision on interest rates, highlighting a busy day for Asia-Pacific economic activity. The central bank is widely expected to keep its benchmark lending rate unchanged at -0.10 percent.

Japan also will see November numbers for its all industry activity index and December data for imports, exports and trade balance.

The all industry index is tipped to fall 0.4 percent on month after rising 1.9 percent in October. Imports are expected to add 4.0 percent on year, slowing from 12.5 percent in November. Exports are called lower by an annual 1.9 percent after adding 0.1 percent in the previous month. The trade deficit is pegged at 35.3 billion yen following the 737.3 billion yen shortfall a month earlier.

Australia will see December figures for skilled vacancies and for the leading economic index from Westpac. In November, vacancies were down 0.1 percent on month and the leading index dipped 0.09 percent.

New Zealand will provide Q4 numbers for consumer prices, with forecasts suggesting a flat quarterly reading and a gain of 1.8 percent on year. That follows the 0.9 percent quarterly increase and the 1.9 percent yearly gain in the three months prior.

Malaysia will release December numbers for consumer prices; in November, inflation was up 0.2 percent both on month and on year.

Singapore will see December data for consumer prices; in November, inflation was up 0.2 percent on month and 0.3 percent on year.

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