Stock gains to slow as investors go on data watch Two weeks of hearty recovery and now what? Asian stock markets could slow their gains this week as investors pause to digest a raft of macroeconomic data from around the globe. Central banks have been injecting cash into the markets since mid-August and equity investors have reaped the benefits. But concerns over the global credit squeeze and United States mortgage woes haven't disappeared, and if bulls need a reason to check their enthusiasm they won't need to look far to find it. US Federal Reserve and Treasury officials on Wednesday will testify at a government hearing set up to investigate the credit and mortgage debacle. Expect to hear a lot of polished lines that underscore the fact that regulators had little clue of what the increasingly complicated financial markets were really up to. And that means there's more chance the hearing will produce a bearish market tone rather than a bullish one. Figures hold clue to Fed move US markets are closed today for the Labour Day holiday, but once the doors open tomorrow there will be a flood of data for the market to process. Figures on construction spending come out tomorrow, and employment data on Friday. Both will be watched for clues on what the Fed may do at its next policy meeting on September 18. Several key central banks will be making policy decisions this week, with Canada's bankers due to make an announcement on Wednesday while the Bank of England wraps up its policy meeting on Thursday. Iceland's central bank will also on Thursday announce its policy going forward. There will be plenty of political posturing outside Washington as well, which may affect the way business is done. The next meeting in the World Trade Organisation Doha round of trade talks kicks off in Geneva today. As we saw when trade ministers met in Hong Kong in 2005, it is possible to do a lot of talking without achieving anything. The World Economic Forum is meeting in Dalian from Thursday to Saturday, and as if one gathering of politicised financiers isn't enough, the 19th Asian-Pacific Economic Co-operation will be held in Sydney starting on Wednesday. Again, don't expect any earth-shaking announcements, but it does give regional governments a chance to meet on the sidelines and smooth the way for future agreements. Share offers on the cards Hong Kong's hordes of deal makers are back from their summer holidays hoping that the volatile stock markets will offer them a window of opportunity to shovel out a few more share offerings. So far they are sceptical over how many deals will go through this month, but a handful of companies are expected to start the process this week. Hidli Industry International Development, a Sichuan coking coal mining company, hopes to raise US$400 million; the US$800 million Sino-Ocean initial public offering will begin pre-marketing today; and Aoyuan Property is planning to launch a US$300 million deal. Also in the pipeline is BYD Electronics which will be taking an US$800 million offering on the road, while SolarGiga Energy Holdings is aiming to raise US$300 million. Beijing Dongxing Sports Development is planning to raise between US$500 million and US$700 million, and Zhong'an Real Estate could launch its US$500 million offering this month or next. Hangzhou City Commercial Bank is also expected to get the wheels turning on a five billion yuan A-share initial public offering.