The Week Ahead

Opposition Treasury spokesman Chris Bowen's budget reply will dominate local news, while global investors will keep a close eye on Federal Reserve minutes.

The federal budget has finally been announced and this week it’s opposition Treasury spokesman Chris Bowen’s turn to deliver a reply. A private measure of consumer sentiment from Westpac and the Melbourne Institute will also be of interest, as worries over budget cuts may continue to weigh on confidence.

In company news, Leighton will hold its annual general meeting, while earnings reports are due from James Hardie and Dulux.

Meeting minutes are expected from the Reserve Bank of Australia and the US Federal Reserve, with the central banks likely to offer carefully worded insights on the health of their respective economies. Also offshore, US Fed chair Janet Yellen will speak.

Reserve Bank

The Reserve Bank of Australia is scheduled to publish the minutes of its May board meeting this week, and they will be closely watched for even the slightest change in language.

On Tuesday, the RBA will release its May board meeting minutes.

Assistant governor for financial markets Guy Debelle will speak at a Financial Services Institute of Australia lunch in Adelaide.

On Friday, the central bank will hold its payments system board meeting.

Local news

A private gauge of consumer sentiment will be important to watch this week, given worries over cuts to health and education spending in the federal budget.

On Wednesday, the Australian Bureau of Statistics will divulge the wage price index for the March quarter.

The Westpac-Melbourne Institute of consumer sentiment for May is due, as is April skilled vacancies data.

On Thursday, the Westpac-Melbourne Institute consumer inflation expectation survey for May is scheduled.

Corporate

Earnings results from James Hardie and Dulux are scheduled this week, while Leighton will update shareholders at its annual meeting.

On Monday Dulux will release its half-year results, while Boart Longyear and Leighton will hold their annual general meetings.

On Tuesday Arrium will release its third-quarter production report.

On Wednesday Aurora Oil and Gas will hold an extraordinary general meeting.

On Thursday James Hardie will publish its full-year results.

Overseas

The US Federal Reserve will release its April meeting minutes this week, with investors around the world interested in its view of the health of the US economy.

On Sunday, in China, April property prices data is expected.

On Tuesday, in the United Kingdom, April inflation is due out.

On Wednesday, the Bloomberg May China economic survey will be released.

On Thursday, in the US, the Federal Reserve will publish minutes from its April Federal Open Markets Committee meeting.

Weekly mortgage applications data is also due.

In China, the HSBC flash manufacturing purchasing managers’ index is expected.

On Friday, in China, the Conference Board leading economic index for April is scheduled.

In the US, April existing home sales are tipped to lift by 1.8 per cent, while the Markit flash manufacturing PMI and Bloomberg consumer comfort survey are due.

Late Friday, April new home sales are expected to rise 12 per cent.

Wrapping up

Observers will monitor the US Fed head's speech offshore and the opposition’s budget reply locally.

On Tuesday, Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia chief executive Pauline Vamos will speak at a lunch hosted by the Committee for Economic Development of Australia in Melbourne.

On Wednesday, opposition Treasury spokesman Chris Bowen will deliver his budget reply address to the National Press Club.

On Thursday, Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen will deliver the commencement address at New York University.