Major currencies and dollar
Central banks set to decide rates this week are of Australia, Eurozone, UK, Canada, Brazil, Malaysia and Poland.Reuters

Rate decisions by Australia, Canada, the eurozone, the UK, Brazil, Malaysia and Poland and speeches by a host of Fed officials including the Chair, Janet Yellen, will be the central bank events in focus in the first week of March.

In the wake of the rate caution rhetoric from the Fed recently, comments by a set of hawkish and dovish central bankers will be keenly watched, ahead of the 17-18 March FOMC meeting.

The Reserve Bank of Australia will set rates on Tuesday (3 March), the Bank of Canada on Wednesday and the Bank of England as well as the European Central Bank on Thursday.

Among the emerging market countries in the list, Brazil and Malaysia are on a rate increase cycle while Poland is on a cutting cycle. Poland is scheduled for Wednesday and Brazil and Malaysia on Thursday.

The market is expecting the RBA to cut the official cash target rate to 2% from 2.25% while pricing in hold decisions from the rest. Australia had lowered the rate by 25 basis points in the 3 February decision.

The BoC had cut it to 0.75% from 1% in the last review but later Governor Stephen Poloz said he was done with the cuts, helping the Canadian dollar move further off a six-year low touched on 30 January.

The ECB is fighting deflation and increasing downside risks to growth but its response has been focused more on quantitative easing.

With the 26 February bond buyback plan that increased the central bank's monthly fund injection to €60n ($67.28bn, £43.56bn), it has surprised markets on the dovish side already and therefore nothing much is expected at Thursday's review.

Market attention will be more on the press meet by central bank President Mario Draghi soon after the rate announcement.

The BoE is also scrambling to tackle the deepening disinflation threat and may be forced to make announcements at least indicating putting off rate increase plans. The central bank too is unlikely to lower the bank rate from 0.5% and alter the asset purchase target from £375bn.

The Brazilian central bank had raised the selic rate by 50 basis points to an over three-year high of 12.25% on 21 January citing stubbornly high inflation.

Malaysia increased the main rate by 25 basis points to 3.25% in July and has been in holding mode since. The National Bank of Poland on the other hand, had lowered the benchmark discount rate by 25 basis points to 2% last year and has been holding it there.

Former Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke is scheduled to speak on Monday (2 March) after which the Philadelphia Fed's Charles Plosser will speak. Cleveland Fed's Loretta Mester will speak on Tuesday.

The Yellen address will be on Wednesday, the same day Chicago Fed's Charles Evans, Kansas Fed's Esther George and Dallas Fed's Richard Fischer are also scheduled to speak. San Francisco Fed's John Williams will speak on Thursday.

Yellen will speak on "bank regulation and supervision" at the Citizens Budget Commission's annual awards dinner in New York.