Looking Ahead in Asia

Events in the world’s biggest economy will likely take center stage in Asia’s financial markets this week, with the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy decision and the U.S. second-quarter growth report card on tap.

The world’s most influential central bank is poised to raise rates from near zero this year, as U.S. jobs data improve and global risk events, namely Greece and China, subside. However, caution may be warranted with inflation remaining stubbornly lower than the central bank’s targeted 2 percent rate.

The release of U.S. second-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) on Thursday will also be a key swing factor for risk appetite. According to economists polled by Reuters, the world’s top economy likely grew 2.50 percent in the April-June period, regaining strength after expanding a meager 0.2 percent in the first three months of 2015 on the back of bad weather and softer energy prices.