The Week Ahead

The mid-year budget update and the Reserve Bank's December minutes will dominate local news in the coming week, while overseas the focus will remain on the prospect of a Fed taper.

There’s plenty of news still expected before the holidays, with markets waiting to see whether the United States Federal Reserve will reduce its stimulus program in response to improving economic data.

Locally, the federal government will release its mid-year budget update, while the Reserve Bank of Australia’s latest meeting minutes will be closely watched.

In corporate news, annual general meetings from ANZ Bank and National Australia Bank will be of interest.

RBA

The RBA still has some key insights to reveal before the holidays, including minutes from this month’s board meeting.

On Tuesday, the central bank will release its board’s December monetary policy meeting minutes.

Assistant Governor for Financial Markets Guy Debelle will give a speech to the Australasian Finance and Banking Conference in Sydney.

On Wednesday, RBA Governor Glenn Stevens will appear before the House of Representatives’ Standing Committee on Economics.

On Thursday, the December quarter Bulletin will be unveiled.

Local news

All eyes will be on the Treasurer’s budget update this week.

On Tuesday, the federal government will release its Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook, with a further blowout in the budget deficit expected.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics will also release new motor vehicles sales data for November.

On Thursday, the ABS will release national financial accounts for the September quarter.

Corporate

Annual general meetings from big banks and agribusinesses will be of interest this week.

On Monday, Australia and New Zealand Banking Group and CSR have their dates payable.

On Wednesday, ANZ holds its AGM, while National Australia Bank will have its date payable.

On Thursday, NAB, GrainCorp, Elders and Incitec Pivot will hold AGMs.

Westpac will also have its date payable.

On Friday, Funtastic will hold its AGM.

Overseas

There’s plenty of offshore news this week, but investors will be most interested in whether the United States Federal Reserve decides to taper its stimulus program.

On Monday, in China, HSBC/Markit flash manufacturing PMI for December will be released, with economists tipping a slight lift to 50.9.

On Tuesday, in the United States, Markit preliminary PMI for December will print, while November industrial production will be released, with economists expecting a 0.5 per cent lift.

The empire manufacturing survey will also print.

In Europe, November inflation figures for the European Union and the United Kingdom are expected.

On Wednesday, Chinese property prices for November are due out.

In the United States, November inflation data is due, with economists tipping a 0.1 per cent lift.

The third quarter current account balance is also expected, with economists forecasting a negative $101 billion print.

On Thursday, the US Federal Reserve will announce whether it has decided to reduce its $US85 billion per month bond-buying program or to hold it steady.

The Fed will also release its interest rate decision, with economists tipping an unchanged result of 0.25 per cent.

Meanwhile, housing starts and building permits data will print.

On Friday, existing home sales data for November is due, with economists tipping a fall of 1.4 per cent, while the November leading index is expected, with economists forecasting a lift to 0.7 per cent.

The Bloomberg surveys of economic expectations and consumer comfort will be released.

Late Friday, third quarter GDP data is due, with economists tipping a slight fall to 3.5 per cent.

Wrapping up

There are few major speeches this week, although plenty of Christmas functions are sure to be scheduled.

On Monday, in Adelaide, a panel event on the South Australian relationship with China will feature the state manufacturing minister Tom Kenyon, agriculture minister Gail Gago and tourism minister Leon Bignell.

On Tuesday, Federal Treasurer Joe Hockey will give a speech at the National Press Club in Canberra to release MYEFO.

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