The Week Ahead

Rio Tinto, ANZ Bank and Commonwealth Bank will headline earnings reports, while employment data is on tap.

Earnings season is getting underway in Australia while in the United States it’s winding down. Big names to watch this week include ANZ Bank and Commonwealth Bank of Australia, plus miners Rio Tinto and Newcrest.

In other local news, the unemployment rate will be closely watched, as will surveys on consumer and business confidence.

Offshore, scheduled releases include US industrial production and retail sales, plus Chinese inflation and trade data. US Federal Reserve Board Chair Janet Yellen is also set to give two speeches.

Reserve Bank of Australia

In the week between the RBA’s cash rate decision and the release of its board meeting minutes, central bank assistant governors have some speaking engagements scheduled.

On Thursday, Assistant Governor for Financial Markets Guy Debelle will be a panellist at the Centre for International Finance and Regulation’s Financial Market Developments Symposium in Sydney.

On Friday, Assistant Governor (Economic) Christopher Kent will give a speech to the Committee for Economic Development, titled ‘Australia’s 2014 Economic and Political Overview’, in Sydney.

Local news

The unemployment rate will be big news locally this week, while surveys on business and consumer confidence will also be closely watched.

On Tuesday, the Australian Bureau of Statistics will publish data on housing finance, with economists forecasting a 4 per cent fall in the value of all loans, and residential property prices for capital cities.

National Australia Bank will unveil its January business confidence and conditions index.

Wednesday brings Westpac’s consumer confidence index for February.

On Thursday, the ABS will report unemployment data. Economists expect a steady unemployment rate of 5.8 per cent and an increase of 20,000 jobs.

Friday sees lending finance data released, also from the ABS.

Corporate

Earnings season is in full swing and investors will be closely watching ANZ Bank, Commonwealth Bank, Rio Tinto, David Jones and Newcrest Mining.

On Tuesday, ANZ Bank will declare its first-quarter results, Cochlear will report its first-half results and Macquarie Group will host an operational briefing.

Wednesday brings first-half results from Boral, Commonwealth Bank, Computershare, Carsales.com, CSL, Dexus Property Group, Goodman Fielder, Primary Health and Stockland.

OZ Minerals will also disclose its full-year results.

On Thursday we’ll see first-half results from ASX Ltd, Goodman Group, Paladin Energy, Transurban Group, Telstra and Webjet.

Full-year results are expected from GPT Group, Rio Tinto and STW Communications Group, while David Jones will release second-quarter sales.

On Friday, half-year results are due from Charter Hall Retail REIT, Newcrest Mining, Sims Metal Management and Transpacific Industries Group.

Overseas

In the United States, January industrial production and advance retail sales will be of interest, as will Chinese inflation and trade data.

On Tuesday China’s January trade balance data will print, with Bloomberg economists expecting a read of $22.35 billion.

PPI and CPI data for January is also expected, with Bloomberg economists tipping a fall of 1.6 per cent and a rise of 2.4 per cent respectively.

In the United States on Wednesday, December wholesale inventories data will be issued, with a 0.6 per cent lift expected.

In the United Kingdom, the Bank of England’s inflation report is due.

On Thursday, the US monthly budget statement for January is due, with Bloomberg forecasting a $27.5 billion deficit.

Friday brings US advance retail sales for January, with Bloomberg tipping a 0.1 per cent lift, while December business inventories are forecast to show a 0.4 per cent rise.

Initial jobless claims are also expected, as is the Bloomberg consumer comfort index.

Late Friday, US industrial production data for January is expected to show a 0.3 per cent lift, January capacity utilisation is forecast to print at 79.4 per cent, and the February University of Michigan confidence survey is tipped to fall slightly to 80.5 points.

European gross domestic product data is also expected.

Wrapping up

US Federal Reserve Board Chair Janet Yellen is due to give two speeches this week, while locally several chief economists for the big banks are set to deliver addresses.

On Monday, University of Melbourne Vice-Chancellor Glyn Davis will speak at a CEDA lunch in Melbourne.

Tuesday sees Exxonmobil’s economics and energy division manager Rob Gardner speaking in Sydney, also at a CEDA lunch.

In Adelaide, KPMG chairman of partners Con Tragakis and Automotive Transformation Coordinator Greg Combet will speak at a CEDA afternoon tea.

In Perth, Atlas Iron managing director Ken Brinsden will speak at an American Chamber of Commerce in Australia breakfast.

On Wednesday, United States Federal Reserve Board Chair Janet Yellen will deliver a speech in Washington.

In Sydney, Sydney Trains chief executive officer Howard Collins will speak at a CEDA lunch.

In Brisbane, Queensland treasurer Tim Nicholls and ANZ Bank chief economist Warren Hogan will speak at a CEDA economic and political overview briefing.

On Thursday, in Perth, Western Australian deputy premier Kim Hames will speak at a CEDA lunch.

In Adelaide, Commonwealth Bank chief economist Craig James will speak at an Australian Institute of Company Directors evening.

On Friday, Dr Yellen will speak again, this time in Washington.

In Sydney, speakers at a CEDA economic and political overview briefing will include National Australia Bank’s chief economist for markets Rob Henderson, ANZ Bank’s chief economist Warren Hogan, Australian Industry Group’s chief executive Innes Willox, IAG’s chief executive Mike Wilkins and Financial System Inquiry chair David Murray.