1. China pulls the stimulus trigger
And the bullet is bigger than expected. On Sunday, China's central bank cut the amount of cash lenders must set aside as reserves by the most since the global financial crisis just days after a report showed the slowest economic growth in six years.
The reserve-requirement ratio will be lowered 1 percentage point to 18.5 per cent effective Monday, the People's Bank of China said on its website Sunday, the second reduction this year and the largest since November 2008. The move puts China more firmly in the easing camp with the European Central Bank and the Bank of Japan and follows a vow by Premier Li Keqiang last month to step in if the economy's slowdown hurts jobs. The cut will allow banks to boost lending, unleashing about 1.2 trillion yuan (S$261 billion), and may spur another rally in China's already red-hot stock market.
2. Walking the tightrope
Meanwhile China's stock market regulator is caught in a tricky balancing act. On Saturday evening, the China Securities Regulatory Commission said measures rolled out on Friday, including tightening rules on margin lending and expanding the use of a mechanism that bets against stocks, aren't aimed at clamping down on a market that has doubled over 12 months.
The CSRC also warned small investors, who have been big drivers of the rally, not to borrow money or sell property to buy stocks, ratcheting up its rhetoric about the market.
3. Greece again headed for a showdown
Concerns are building once more over the Greek debt issue as neither Athens nor her international creditors seem willing to budge. The European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund want Greece to do more to revamp its debt-burdened economy before they release another tranche of the 240 billion-euro (S$350 billion) bailout programme. At stake is Greece's ability to avoid a default and stay in the 19-nation euro area.
The showdown will figure heavily at a meeting of euro-area finance ministers in Latvia on April 24. In the shadow of the brinkmanship, Greek government bonds last week suffered their worst week since Alexis Tsipras was elected as prime minister in January on a platform promising to undo the tough bailout terms.
4. Flash PMIs in focus
Flash April purchasing managers indices (PMIs) for the United States, China and the eurozone will provide fresh evidence on the health of the world's largest economies at the beginning of the second quarter.
The timing of the first US rate rise is "data dependent", so flash manufacturing PMI results on Thursday and durable goods orders on Friday will be eyed closely
The PMI has now become one of the most closely watched indicators of business activity across the world. It is a survey-based measures that asks the respondents about changes in their perception of some key business variables from the month before. It is calculated separately for the manufacturing and services sectors and then a composite index is constructed.
5. It's time for the Apple Watch
Will Apple enthusiasts across the world flock to their nearest Apple Store on Friday, when the tech giant launches its latest must-have gadget and its first all-new product in five years - the Apple Watch? Going by preorders, yes. Tech websites are saying that about 957,000 consumers preordered the Apple Watch when the option was made available on April 10. And that's just in the US. The watch was also available for preorder to consumers in Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, and the UK.