The Week Ahead

Unemployment and trade balance data from the ABS could move local markets, while the Commonwealth Bank's quarterly update and Westpac's earnings will also be of interest.

There’s no shortage of market-moving data, with the ABS poised to release the latest reads on both unemployment and the trade balance.

On the central bank front, news from the RBA will also not be in short supply, with the November ‘Cup day’ meeting of its board and a quarterly statement of monetary policy at the end of the week.

The remaining two big banks will also deliver earnings updates to the market, Westpac with full-year earnings and Commonwealth Bank with a quarterly trading update.

Offshore, China’s trade balance and the latest read on US unemployment will be of most interest.


The ‘race that stops the nation’ won’t stop a pair of key releases from the Reserve Bank this week.  First is the November rates decision on Cup day, then a quarterly review later in the week.

On Tuesday, the Reserve Bank of Australia will unveil its interest rate decision for November. At its last two meetings the central bank has held the official cash rate at 2.5 per cent. Economists are widely tipping a repeat here, with no change expected.

On Friday, the Central Bank will lift the lid on its quarterly statement of monetary policy.


The latest read on unemployment out of the ABS will be the biggest driver of the week, however the September trade balance and retail sales will also be of interest.

Monday will see the third-quarter index of house prices released by the ABS, as well retail sales for September. Economists expect a 0.3 per cent increase in retail sales for the month.

Elsewhere, the TD-Melbourne Institute inflation gauge for October and ANZ Job Advertisements for the month will also be released.

On Tuesday the Australian Industry Group will unveil its performance of services index for October.

Wednesday will bring with it the September trade balance out the ABS, with economists expecting a $350 million deficit.

On Thursday, the October labour force numbers will be released with economists expecting 5,000 jobs to have been created. There is a split on the forecast for the unemployment with some expecting it to hold at 5.7 per cent, and some tipping a slight decrease to 5.6 per cent.

Elsewhere, the Australian Industry Group will release its performance of construction index for October.


The financial sector will be the focus of company news this week with a quarterly update and AGM scheduled from Commonwealth Bank and full-year earnings for Westpac.

Monday will see Westpac deliver its full-year earnings, while Whitehaven Coal will convene its annual general meeting in Sydney and Navitas will hold its AGM in Mount Pleasant, Western Australia.

On Wednesday, Commonwealth Bank will unveil its September quarter trading update.

Elsewhere, Downer EDI will hold its AGM in Sydney.

Thursday will bring with it the annual general meetings of Fairfax Media and Country Road, in Sydney and Melbourne respectively.

National Australia Bank and ANZ will also trade ex-dividend.

On Friday Commonwealth Bank will convene its annual general meeting in Syndey.

Telecom will hold its AGM in Auckland, and Echo will convene its annual general meeting in Sydney.

Westpac will also trade ex-dividend.


In a relatively busy week for foreign news, China’s trade balance and the latest read on US  unemployment will be of most consequence for Australians.

Sunday will deliver the October non-manufacturing purchasing managers’ index out of China.

On Tuesday, the August and September figures on factory orders will be released on account of the government shutdown.

In China, the HSBC/Markit services PMI for October will be unveiled.

Thursday will bring with it the Leading Index for September out of the US, with economists expecting a 0.6 per cent increase.

On Friday, China will unveil its trade balance for October, alongside the latest read on imports and exports.

In the US, third quarter gross domestic product will be released, as will the Bloomberg survey of consumer comfort.

Late on Friday, the US will release its employment data for October, with Bloomberg tipping the unemployment rate will lift slightly to 7.3 per cent.

Personal spending numbers for September will also be released, as will the University of Michigan survey of confidence.

Wrapping up

On Wednesday, John Brumby, chairman of the COAG Reform Council will address the National Press Club in Canberra.

Elsewhere, Pip Marlow, managing director of Microsoft Australia and Phil Ruthven, founder and chairman of IBISWorld will be two participants in a Committee for the Economic Development of Australia event in Brisbane entitled ‘Australia Adjusting: optimising national prosperity’.

Thursday will see Blair Douglas, manager of water planning with BHP Billiton Iron Ore Blair Douglas and CSIRO Land and Water’s Don McFarlane will take part in a CEDA panel called ‘Water for industry’ in Perth.

In Mackay, Aurizon chief executive officer Lance Hockridge will take part in an Australian Institute of Company Directors End of Year Breakfast.

On Friday, New South Wales Premier Barry O’Farrell will take part in an American Chamber of Commerce in Australia business briefing in Sydney.

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