(Bloomberg) — Nations around the region from China to Singapore are gearing up for the start of the year of the dragon, traditionally the luckiest and most auspicious of the 12 animals in this zodiac (and also the only mythical one). Here’s hoping, eh? 

The big earnings. China tech giants Alibaba and Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp. report amid a cautious backdrop after choppy US tech earnings, with SMIC offering a steer on the country’s demand for smartphones and consumer electronics. In Japan, SoftBank could end a string of four quarterly losses, while the nation’s big automakers also report with Toyota expected to post record sales. DBS and Mitsubishi UFJ will shine a light on regional banking. 

The big split. Red Sea attacks are splitting the oil market into two regions, one centered around the Atlantic Basin, North Sea and Mediterranean, and another encompassing the Persian Gulf, Indian Ocean and East Asia. And it could cost Asian consumers.

The big kick. Hong Kong is having a taste of Messi Mania this weekend, with the Argentine star’s Inter Miami scheduled to play a friendly soccer match against a select local team in the city today. 

The big data. China’s January credit numbers could get a start-of-year kick, helped by central bank stimulus, but CPI and PPI data will probably show deflation extending into 2024.  Australia and India are likely to keep rates on hold, and Thailand’s central bank could do the same, defying government pressure to cut. Indonesia’s GDP growth may show investment driving the expansion.

The big blast. Metal traders, auto companies and even workers at US Steel agree that a $14.1 billion sale of the iconic American company to Japan’s Nippon Steel is the best option. So why is Washington against it?

Read how Indonesia blew up one of the world’s most promising industries supplying electric vehicles.

The big vote. Pakistan goes to the polls with the nuclear-armed country of 240 million people expected to return former leader Nawaz Sharif as prime minister after a tumultuous campaign.

And finally, Asia’s Swifties will be on tenterhooks well after midnight today to see if their anti-hero breaks records at the Grammys in Los Angeles. If she wins best album, one of her six nominations, she will be the first artist to win it four times, overtaking Frank Sinatra, Stevie Wonder and Paul Simon.

Have a bejeweled week.

 

©2024 Bloomberg L.P.





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