THE WEEK AHEAD

Earnings season continues with Woodside, BlueScope and Lend Lease reports headlining a week that also includes RBA minutes.

The economic calendar sticks to the busy February theme in the week ahead, with the minutes of the first Reserve Bank of Australia meeting for 2012 set for release.

Elsewhere, the mid-financial year corporate reporting season continues, with a host of big names reporting.

Woodside, Suncorp, Bluescope Steel and Lend Lease, are among big names reporting, while Origin Energy, Fairfax Media, Insurance Australia Group and Perpetual will also reveal results.

In local data, the labour price index is due, along with average weekly earnings data.

Offshore, the Bank of England will release the minutes of its last policy meeting, while Chinese PMI data from HSBC is on tap.

The G20 will kick off its two-day meeting of finance ministers and central bank governors in Mexico City this week.

RBA

On Tuesday, the Reserve Bank of Australia will release the minutes of its February policy meeting, when it made the surprise decision to keep interest rates on hold.

Investors will pore over the release carefully, especially given most analysts were predicting the bank to cut rates by 0.25 percentage points.

Elsewhere on Tuesday, RBA governor Glenn Stevens will sit on a discussion panel at an Australian Securities and Investment Commission event in Sydney. He is likely to field many questions relating to the minutes and will be looking to further explain the central bank’s current economic stance.

Thursday sees RBA head of financial stability Luci Ellis speak at an Australian Mortgage Conference in Sydney.

On Friday, Stevens will appear before the House of Representatives standing committee on economics in Sydney.

Local news

A quiet week in local economic news is overshadowed by the earnings and RBA circus.

On Tuesday, Conference Board Australia will release its leading index for December.

Wednesday sees the release of labour price index data for the December quarter by the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Economists are expecting the data to show wages grew at a rate of 3.6 per cent annually.

Elsewhere, the Department of Employment and Workplace Relations will release its skilled vacancies index for January.

On Thursday, the ABS will release average weekly earnings data for November.

Corporate

Another busy week in the February earnings season will see investors on their toes as they try to keep up with a tsunami of reports.

Monday results:

- Bluescope Steel. Goldman Sachs economists expect the group to widen its loss to $67.7 million in the half, pre non-recurring items.

- Lend Lease, which is tipped to post an 8.8 per cent fall in profit to $223 million.

Amcor, Bendigo and Adelaide Bank and UGL will also report.

Tuesday results:

- OneSteel, which Goldman Sachs expect to post a 54.1 per cent fall in profit to $57.1 million, pre non-recurring items.

- Oil Search is tipped to record a 51.9 per cent jump in full-year profit to $US219 million.

Elsewhere, Downer EDI, Macmahon Holdings, Mirvac, Sonic Healthcare, iiNet and Flight Centre will reveal earnings and full-year figures are due from Boart Longyear.

Meanwhile, Eldorado Gold is due to hold an extraordinary general meeting.

Offshore, Wal-Mart Stores and Kraft Foods will reveal fourth quarter earnings in the US.

Wednesday results:

- Suncorp Group. The group is tipped to post a $316 million profit, softer than the previous corresponding period.

- CSL. Goldman Sachs believe the group will post a 3.7 per cent fall in profit to $481.5 million.

- Woodside Petroleum will unveil full-year results. Goldman Sachs economists are expecting the oil giant to post a $US1.815 billion profit, 30 per cent higher than last year.

Interim figures are also due from Macarthur Coal, Fletcher Building, IOOF Holdings, SEEK, Computershare, Paperlinx, Suncorp Group and Transfield Services.

Austar United Communications, Ausenco and Coca Cola Amatil will also reveal annual figures.

Elsewhere, Asciano will hold its annual general meeting.

Offshore, Hewlett-Packard is due to report first quarter earnings figures in the US.

Thursday results:

- Origin Energy. Goldman Sachs predicts Origin will post a 49 per cent jump in first-half profit to $452.9 million.

- Insurance Australia Group. The group is expected to reveal a fall in interim profit to $80 million.

Cabcharge, Toll Holdings, APN News & Media, Charter Hall Group and Clough will also release half-yearly earnings.

Reports from Virgin Australia, Fairfax Media, Perpetual, Consolidated Media Holdings and Tatts Group are also due, while Iluka Resources, MAp and Panaust are due to reveal full-year results.

Offshore, Royal Bank of Scotland Group will report earnings figures.

Friday results:

- AGL is tipped to post a 12.8 per cent rise in profit to $255.1 million.

Crown, Pacific Brands and Challenger Infrastructure Fund are due to report interim earnings.

Overseas, Lloyds Banking Group PLC and Newmont Mining Corp are due to report earnings figures.

Offshore

Overseas, US markets are closed on Monday for the Presidents’ Day holiday.

Tuesday sees public sector net borrowing data for January released in the United Kingdom. Elsewhere, European Monetary Union consumer confidence for February is on tap.

On Wednesday, US existing home sales data for January is due. Analysts are tipping the data to show a two per cent lift to 4.7 million in the month.

In China, HSBC will release its preliminary manufacturing purchasing managers index for February.

EU PMI data for both manufacturing and services is due. Both releases are for the month of February.

EU industrial new orders data for December is also set for release.

The Bank of England will release the minutes of its latest policy meeting on Wednesday.

Thursday brings US jobless claims figures, alongside the December housing price index.

The weekly Energy Information Administration petroleum status report will also be released.

In the UK, BBA mortgage approvals data for January is due.

Friday sees the Reuters/Michigan consumer sentiment index for February released in the US, along with January new home sales data.

Sales of home are tipped to have risen to 315,000 in the month.

Third quarter gross domestic product data will be revealed in the UK, along with total business investment figures for the fourth quarter.

Wrapping up

Rounding off the week, Sunday sees EU competition commissioner Joaquin Almunia speak at a competition conference in Europe.

On Monday, European Council president Herman Van Rompuy will be guest speaker at a conference in Paris.

Elsewhere, Euro-Area Finance Ministers are due to meet in Europe.

A conference in Greece will host the country’s Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos, Interior Minister Anastasios Giannitsis and Foreign Minister Stavros Dimas.

Tuesday sees a meeting of the EU Economic and Monetary Affairs Council.

The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) business advisory council will also meet.

On Thursday, federal trade minister Craig Emerson will speak at a Committee for Economic Development of Australia (CEDA) function in Brisbane.

National Australia Bank group chief economist Alan Oster, QR National chief financial officer Deborah O’Toole and Australian Council of Trade Unions president Ged Kearney will also attend the event.

Overseas, the EU is due to release its interim economic forecasts for 2012.

Friday brings a speech from IBM Australia and New Zealand chief financial officer Sara Watts at a Trans-Tasman Business Circle event in Sydney.

Australian Securities and Investment Committee deputy chairperson Belinda Gibson will speak at a CEDA event in Sydney.

Federal Finance Minister Penny Wong will address a separate CEDA event in Adelaide.

Oakajee Port and Rail chief executive John Langulant will speak at another CEDA function in Perth.

BP Global group chief economist Christof Ruhl will address an American Chamber of Commerce business briefing in Melbourne.

Woolworths managing director and chief executive Grant O’Brien will be a guest at a separate AMCHAM function in Sydney.

In the US, chairwoman of the Securities and Exchange Commission Mary Schapiro will speak.

St Louis Federal Reserve president James Bullard and San Francisco Federal Reserve president John Williams will speak on housing monetary policy in the US.

New York president William Dudley will also speak.

Philadelphia president Charles Plosser will participate in a fiscal challenges panel before the US Monetary Policy Forum.

Elsewhere, Almunia will address a Centre for European Policy Studies function.

Finance Ministers from countries involved in the Group of 20 will meet in Mexico City.

On Saturday, the G20 will kick of its two-day meeting of finance ministers and central bank governors in Mexico City.

Related Articles