Economic data from Australia and the release of the BOJ minutes were the highlights of the Asian session. BOJ members were unanimous in their desire to stimulate their economy though some voiced concern about the two year timetable to reach the 2% price stability target. Australian data reinforced the drag that weaker global growth, especially from China, is having on their economy which has to be on the RBA's mind as they meet next week to discuss monetary policy.
The markets' collective focus now shifts to the ECB rate decision which is due out a bit later on today. Given a weakening euro-zone economy and low inflation levels, traders expect them to cut by 25 basis points to 0.50% but are unsure whether the ECB will announce any further "non-standard measures". Either way, one can expect volatility when Draghi starts speaking.