The Week Ahead

BHP Billiton and Wesfarmers will headline a deluge of earnings reports, while Reserve Bank and US Fed board minutes are on tap.

Local half-year earnings season continues this week, with reports from the likes of BHP Billiton, Wesfarmers, Woodside and IAG scheduled.

The central banks of both Australia and the United States are set to reveal board meeting minutes and investors will be watching for clues about the future direction of monetary policy in the two nations. US inflation data and Chinese flash manufacturing data are also due.

There are several local data releases including wages and job ads, while speeches from competition watchdog boss Rod Sims and Whitehaven Coal chairman Mark Vaile will be of interest.

RBA

No speeches are expected from the Reserve Bank of Australia this week, but its monetary policy meeting minutes will be keenly watched.

On Tuesday, the RBA will release its February board meeting minutes, after leaving the official cash rate on hold at 2.5 per cent this month and arguing that a period of stability in interest rates was appropriate.

The central bank will hold its payments system board meeting on the same day.

Local news

Key releases from the Australian Bureau of Statistics this week include job ads and wage data, as well as motor vehicle sales.

On Monday, the ABS will report new car sales data for January.

Wednesday sees the bureau release December wage price index data and internet job ads.

On Thursday the ABS will disclose data on November average weekly earnings.

Corporate

It’s set to be another busy week for company news as earnings season continues, with results from BHP Billiton, Wesfarmers, Woodside Petroleum, Santos, Insurance Australia Group, Southern Cross and Seven West Media due.

On Monday, half-year results are expected from Ardent Leisure Group, Aurizon, Ansell, Bendigo & Adelaide Bank, NIB Holdings and Specialty Fashion Group.

Australand Property Group and G8 Education report their full-year results.

Tuesday brings interim results from Asciano, Amcor, Amcom Telecommunications, Arrium, CFS Retail Property Trust, Challenger, Commonwealth Property Office Fund, GWA Group, Hills Holdings, Mt Gibson Iron, McMillan Shakespeare, Monadelphous, Pacific Brands, Sonic Healthcare and Southern Cross.

Full-year results are expected from BHP Billiton and Coca-Cola Amatil.

On Wednesday, half-year results are scheduled for APA Group, ARB Corp, Brambles, Dick Smith Holdings, Pharmaxis, Ridley Corp, Suncorp, Seven West Media, Toll Holdings, The Reject Shop and Wesfarmers.

Woodside Petroleum will divulge its full-year results.

Thursday sees interim results published from Alumina, Drillsearch Energy, Echo Entertainment, Emeco Holdings, Fletcher Building, Federation Centres, Fairfax Media, iiNet, Investa Office Fund, Invocare, Mirvac, Nuplex Industries, Origin Energy, Seek, SMS Management, Super Retail and Treasury Wine Estates.

Full-year results are due from Adelaide Brighton, AMP, APN News & Media, OceanaGold and PanAust, while Pharmaxis will host a quarterly briefing.

On Friday, Billabong International, Insurance Australia Group, Crown Resorts and Qube Holdings report their half-year earnings.

Full-year results are due from Iluka Resources and Santos, while National Australia Bank will hold its first-quarter trading update.

Overseas

All eyes will be on the United States Federal Reserve this week as it releases minutes from its January meeting, while inflation data will also be closely watched.

In the United States, on Monday US time, markets will be closed for a public holiday.

In Japan, GDP figures are on tap.

On Tuesday, in the United Kingdom, CPI and PPI data are due.

Wednesday brings the US empire manufacturing survey for February, which is expected to fall to 9.50, while the NAHB housing market index for the same month is tipped to lift to 57.

US capital inflows data is also due.

On Thursday, in China, the HSBC/Markit flash manufacturing purchasing managers’ index for February will print.

In the US, the Federal Reserve will release minutes from its January 28-29 meeting.

US housing starts data is due, with Bloomberg economists tipping a 5.7 per cent fall in January, while building permits are expected to fall by 1.8 per cent in the same month.

The January producer price index is also scheduled, with economists expecting a 0.2 per cent lift.

On Friday, the US consumer price index will print, with Bloomberg economists tipping a read of 0.1 per cent for January.

Markit preliminary PMI for February will be also be unveiled in the US and is expected to print at 53.7, while the January leading index is tipped to increase 0.4 per cent.

The Philadelphia Fed business outlook and Bloomberg consumer comfort survey are due.

Late on Friday, existing US home sales data from January will be disclosed, with Bloomberg economists forecasting a 2.5 per cent fall.

Wrapping up

Key speakers this week include competition watchdog boss Rod Sims and Whitehaven Coal chairman Mark Vaile.

On Wednesday, in Brisbane, Health Minister Peter Dutton and Telstra Head of Health Shane Solomon will speak at a Committee for Economic Development of Australia lunch.

In Perth, Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia chief executive Pauline Vamos will speak, also at a CEDA lunch.

Thursday sees South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill speaking at a CEDA half-day event in Adelaide.

On the Gold Coast, BT Financial Group chief economist Chris Caton will speak at an Australian Institute of Company Directors lunch.

In Canberra, University of Canberra chancellor Tom Calma will speak at the National Press Club.

In the United States, President of the Federal Reserve Bank of St Louis James Bullard will give a speech.

On Friday, Australian Competition and Consumer Commission chairman Rod Sims will speak at a CEDA lunch in Sydney.

In Melbourne, Whitehaven Coal chairman Mark Vaile will speak at a CEDA half-day forum.

Late Friday, in the United States, Mr Bullard is scheduled to speak again.

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