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Japan Data On Tap For Friday

Japan is scheduled to release a batch of data on Friday, setting the pace for a busy day in Asia-Pacific economic activity. On tap are April numbers for unemployment, industrial production, retail sales, housing starts and construction orders - as well as May figures for Tokyo inflation and consumer confidence.

The jobless rate is expected to fall to 2.4 percent, down from 2.5 percent in March, while the job-to-applicant ratio is called steady at 1.63. Industrial production is tipped to add 0.2 percent on month and fall 1.4 percent on year after sliding 0.6 percent on month and 4.3 percent on year in March.

Retail sales are predicted to rise 0.6 percent on month and 1.0 percent on year after gaining 0.2 percent on month and 1.0 percent on year in the previous month. Housing starts are called lower by an annual 0.8 percent after surging 10.0 percent a month earlier.

Overall Tokyo area inflation is expected to gain 1.2 percent on year, slowing from 1.4 percent in April - while core CPI is also called higher by 1.2 percent, down from 1.3 percent a month earlier. The consumer confidence index had a score of 40.4 in April.

China will see May numbers for its manufacturing, non-manufacturing and composite indexes. The manufacturing index is tipped to show a score of 49.9, down from 50.1 in April. The non-manufacturing index is called steady at 54.3, while the composite came in at 53.4 in the previous month.

Australia will see April figures for private sector credit, with forecasts suggesting an increase of 0.3 percent on month and 3.8 percent on year. That follows the 0.3 percent monthly increase and the 3.9 percent yearly gain in March.

New Zealand will release May results for the consumer confidence index from ANZ; in April, the index climbed 1.1 percent to a score of 123.2.

Hong Kong will provide April data for retail sales; in March, sales were down 0.8 percent on year.

The Bank of Korea will wrap up its monetary policy meeting and then announce its decision on interest rates; the bank is widely expected to keep its benchmark lending rate steady at 1.75 percent.

South Korea also will see April data for industrial production and retail sales. In March, output was up 1.4 percent on month and down 2.8 percent on year, while retail sales added 3.3 percent on month and 2.4 percent on year.

Thailand will see April numbers for imports, exports and trade balance, as well as Q1 figures for current account. In March, imports were worth $17.89 billion and exports were at $21.47 billion for a trade surplus of $3.58 billion. The current account surplus in the previous three months was $8.55 billion.

Finally, the markets in Malaysia remain closed on Friday for the Harvest Festival and will re-open on Monday.

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