THE WEEK AHEAD

ANZ Bank, Westpac and Macquarie will release earnings figures, while local property and building approvals data will be closely watched.

The financial sector take centre stage this week, with two of the big four lenders, ANZ Bank and Macquarie, set to unveil their interim results. Elsewhere on the corporate front the last few quarterly production reports are expected out and the mini May AGM season continues.

Locally, there’s a mixed bag of data with a pair private reads on the property sector, as well as the latest building approvals due out of the ABS.

Offshore the US will be the focus, with the latest releases on unemployment and international trade balance due out. The FOMC will also hand down its interest rates decision for May at the conclusion of its two-day meeting in Washington.

Meanwhile, twin manufacturing PMI reads out of China will also garner considerable attention.

Reserve Bank

Another quieter week for the central bank ahead of next week’s May board meeting.

Tuesday will bring the latest read on private sector credit as part of the central bank’s financial aggregates for March. Economists are tipping a 0.3 per cent rise in private sector credit in the month.

On Wednesday assistant Reserve Bank governor Malcolm Edey will address the Thomson Reuter regulatory summit in Sydney.

Local

The property sector steals the focus locally this week with building approvals data due out of the Australian Bureau of Statistics and several prominent private releases also expected.

Wednesday will bring the release of the Australian Industry Group’s performance of manufacturing index for April.

Elsewhere, we see two important monthly reads on the property sector, the RP Data/Rismark Home Value Index for April, and the Housing Industry of Australia’s new home sales for the month.

Thursday will see the release of building approvals data for March. Bloomberg is expecting a 1.5 per cent lift on the previous month.

On Friday, the ABS will release the producer price indexes for the March quarter, which is a measure of business inflation. Also due out is the AIG performance of services index.

Corporate

The financial sector will be closely watched this week with ANZ Bank, Westpac and Macquarie Group all set to release results.

Tuesday will see ANZ Bank unveil its first-half results. Bloomberg is expecting the lender will post a 4.8 per cent year-on-year lift in net adjusted income to $6.302 billion.

Elsewhere, Whitehaven Coal releases its first-quarter activities report. Given the recent financial troubles of major shareholder Nathan Tinkler, the coal miner’s sales and production numbers will be closely watched.

Beach Energy will also release its quarterly report.

On Wednesday, Lynas will convene its annual general meeting while BT Investment Group will release its interim results.

Friday will deliver Westpac’s half-year results, with Bloomberg tipping a year-on-year rise of 4.7 per cent in net adjusted income to $6.9 billion.

Macquarie Group will also lift the lid on its full-year earnings results, with Bloomberg expecting a 6.9 per cent lift in net adjusted income.

Elsewhere, Alumina holds its annual general meeting in Sydney.

Offshore

The US will be the main focus with the FOMC rates decision and unemployment data due out, alongside twin manufacturing PMI reads in China.

Tuesday will see the latest read on personal income and spending out of the United States. Bloomberg expects personal income to have lifted by 0.4 per cent and spending to have increased by 0.1 per cent in March.

In Japan, the March reads on annualised housing starts, retail trade and the jobless rate are due out.

On Wednesday, the April consumer confidence survey out of the US is expected to show a slight lift in sentiment to a reading of 60. The Markit US Final PMI read is also due out.

Meanwhile in China, the manufacturing purchasing managers’ index is set to be released, with Bloomberg forecasting a flat read at 50.9.

On Thursday the Federal Open Market Committee, the policy making arm of the US Federal Reserve, will conclude its May meeting and deliver its interest rates decision for the month. No change in the rate is expected, however economists are expecting the central bank’s language to more upbeat in the accompanying statement.

New vehicle sales for April and the ISM Manufacturing Index for the month are also due out of the US, while the European Central Bank is also set to hand down its latest rates decision.

In China, the HSBC manufacturing PMI is expected, with Bloomberg tipping a slight fall to a reading of 50.7.

Friday will deliver the April read on international trade in the US, with Bloomberg tipping the nation’s deficit will narrow slightly to $US42.3 billion.

Later that evening, the US unemployment rate for April is due out. Bloomberg expects the rate will hold steady at 7.6 per cent.

Wrapping up

On Monday Investec Bank chairman David Gonski will address a Trans-Tasman Business Circle in Melbourne on the art of chairmanship.

Tuesday will see Bunnings chief operating officer Peter Davis address a Committee for the Economic Development of Australia lunch in Adelaide. Mr Davis will take part in a presentation entitled ‘Age matters: building diversity in the workplace’.

Elsewhere, Perseus Mining chief executive Jeff Quartermaine will take part in a CEDA panel in Africa exploring increasing popularity of Africa as a destination for Australian trade and investment.

Trucking magnate Lindsay Fox will also address an Australian Institute of Company Directors’ Business Leaders Luncheon on the Gold Coast, and Myer chairman Paul McClintock will address an AICD Leader’s Edge Luncheon in Hobart.

On Wednesday, Treasurer Wayne Swan will deliver his only pre-budget address to CEDA members in Melbourne.

Elsewhere, CPA Australia chief executive Alex Malley will deliver the address ‘Australia's Competitiveness: From Lucky Country to Competitive Country’ to the National Press Club in Canberra.