THE WEEK AHEAD

The Federal Reserve's meeting minutes will take centre stage, while key reads on unemployment and business confidence will dominate local headlines.

The key driver of the week will be the latest read on unemployment numbers, but there is a selection of private data, including an important business confidence survey, also set for release.

With no news scheduled out of the Reserve Bank, all eyes will turn to the US central bank when it releases the minutes of its latest meeting, during which it bucked expectations that it would wind back monetary stimulus.

On the corporate front, WorleyParsons and Transurban kick off the slow march toward AGM season, while Bank of Queensland will unveil its latest earnings.

It’s also a big week for key speeches, with the head of the Grattan Institute, the chief executive officer of National Australia Bank and the chief economist for Bank of America Merrill Lynch all slated to address local audiences.

Reserve Bank

No scheduled news out of the central bank this week following last week’s decision to hold the official cash rate at 2.5 per cent and ahead of the release of minutes of the board meeting next week.

Local data

It’s a light week in terms of quantity (but not quality) on the domestic front, with key reads due on unemployment and business confidence.

Monday will bring with it the Australian Industry Group performance of construction index.

On Tuesday ANZ will release its September read on job ads, while National Australia Bank’s survey of business confidence and conditions for the month is also due.

Wednesday brings the Melbourne Institute/Westpac Banking Institute survey of consumer sentiment and unemployment expectations.

On Thursday, the ABS will unveil September’s labour force data. Economists expect the unemployment rate to hold at 5.8 per cent, while it is estimated 20,000 jobs were created in the month.

Elsewhere, the Melbourne Institute/Westpac Banking Institute survey of consumer inflation expectations is due out.

Corporate

A moderate week on the company front with several high-profile AGM and the latest earnings results from Bank of Queensland and takeover target The Trust Company on the schedule.

Monday is the date payable for Tatts Group.

Tuesday is the date payable for Oil Search.

On Wednesday, Worley Parsons will convene its annual general meeting in Sydney, while Clough will hold its AGM in Perth.

The Trust Company will also release its first-half results.

Thursday will see Transurban convene its annual general meeting in Melbourne, while the Bank of Queensland will release its full-year results.

The Australian Infrastructure Fund (AIX) will also trade ex-dividend.

Offshore

A lone piece of data out of China this week, but some key reads in the US, particularly the minutes of the latest Fed Reserve meeting, will pique investors’ interest. However, the following releases were scheduled prior to the US government shutdown, so those released by government departments may be postponed (as the US September jobs report was this week).

Tuesday will see the HSBC/Markit services PMI released out of China, while the latest read on consumer credit is expected out of the US, where economists expect a $12 billion lift in credit.

On Wednesday, the US will lift the lid on its trade balance for August, with economists expecting a deficit of $39 billion.

Thursday delivers the minutes of the most recent Federal Reserve meeting, where the central bank defied expectations and continued its program of quantitative easing. Wholesale inventories for August will also be released in the US, with economists expecting a 0.3 per cent lift in the month.

On Friday, the import price index for September will be released in the US.

There will be a deluge of data late on Friday. The business inventories for August will also be released alongside the University of Michigan survey of confidence and the September read on producer prices.

Retail sales for September are also slated for release, with economists tipping a 0.3 per cent increase in the month.

Wrapping up

On Monday, Saul Eslake, chief economist of Bank of America Merrill Lynch will take part in an Australian Institute of Company Directors leaders edge luncheon in Melbourne.

Wednesday will see chief executive of the Grattan Institute John Day address the National Press Club in Canberra where he will speak to the question ‘is there still a budget emergency?’

In Melbourne, Brambles chief executive officer Tom Gorman will address an American Chamber of Commerce in Australia business briefing.

Thursday will see National Australia Bank chief executive officer Cameron Clyne address a Trans-Tasman Business Circle event in Melbourne.

On Friday, Mirvac Property Group chief executive officer Susan Lloyd-Hurwitz will address an American Chamber of Commerce in Australia business briefing in Sydney.

In Melbourne, Australian Securities and Investment Commission chairman Greg Medcraft will also address an American Chamber of Commerce in Australia business briefing.

Follow @mitchneems on Twitter.

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