The Week Ahead

The RBA's April rates decision headlines the coming week, with Ten Network results also due.

The first week of April brings a glut of important economic indicators, headlined by the Reserve Bank of Australia’s latest policy meeting.

Locally, building approvals and retail trade data are due, alongside trade balance figures.

Overseas, the US Federal Reserve will release the minutes of its last policy meeting, while construction spending and car sales data is awaited.

Both the Bank of England and European Central Bank will make interest rate decisions.

In corporate news, Ten Network is due to release earnings results, while QBE will hold its annual general meeting.

CoAG Reform Council chairman Paul McClintock will speak at a corporate function this week, while ANZ Australia chief Phillip Chronican will also speak.

RBA

The Reserve Bank of Australia will again come under close scrutiny this week when it meets Tuesday to vote on the level of the official cash rate.

Investors will watch proceedings closely, but recent comments from the RBA suggest the bank is happy with the current cash rate level.

The central bank said in its financial stability report last week that global financial markets have stabilised since last year and local banks are in a good position to address any future turmoil.

Analysts are expecting the RBA to leave rates on hold at 4.25 per cent, which would be the third consecutive month the level has been left unchanged.

Local news

A big week in local news sees important releases from both private sources and the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

On Monday, the ABS will announce building approvals data for February, while TD Securities and the Melbourne Institute will release their monthly inflation gauge for March.

Analysts are tipping the data to show approvals fell by 3 per cent in the month.

The Australian Industry Group’s performance of manufacturing index for March is due, along with the RP Data/Rismark home price index.

February retail trade data is due from the ABS on Tuesday, and experts are tipping the figures to show a 0.5 per cent rise in sales.

Wednesday brings February trade balance data from the ABS, while Commonwealth Bank of Australia and the Australian Industry Group will release their performance of services index for March.

Economists are expecting the trade data to show a surplus of around $1 billion for the month.

Thursday sees the Australian Industry Group’s performance of construction index for the month of February announced.

On Friday, local markets will be closed for the Good Friday public holiday.

Corporate

A solid week in corporate news will see a number of shareholder meetings and earnings releases.

Cougar Energy will hold an extraordinary general meeting on Tuesday, while elsewhere, Energy Resources of Australia will release its March quarter production report.

Overseas, Ford Motor Company will hand down data on its sales during March.

On Wednesday, QBE Insurance and Energy Resources of Australia will hold their annual general meetings.

Thursday sees Ten Network release interim earnings results. UBS analysts are expecting the group to post a $22.3 million profit.

Illuka Resources' March quarter production report is also due.

Offshore

Overseas, Monday sees the release of the ISM manufacturing index for March in the US. The index is expected to have risen 1.1 points during the month to 53.5.

February construction spending data is also due.

In the United Kingdom, the March purchasing manager index for manufacturing is on tap.

The same release is due in Europe for the European Monetary Union.

EU unemployment rate data for February will also be released.

Tuesday brings US car sales data for March, along with factory orders figures for February.

Elsewhere, PMI construction data for March is awaited in the UK, along with the BRC shop price index for the month.

EU producer price index data is also due.

On Wednesday, the ADP employment report for March will be published in the US, alongside the ISM non-manufacturing index for the month.

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

In the UK, the March purchasing manager index for services is expected to be released.

The European Central Bank will wrap up a busy day with a meeting to decide on the current level of interest rates in the currency bloc.

In the US on Thursday, jobless claims data is awaited.

Industrial production data for February is due in the UK, along with manufacturing production data for the period.

NIESR will release its quarterly gross domestic product estimate for March.

Elsewhere, the Bank of England will meet to discuss the level of interest rates for March.

In China, HSBC will release its March performance of manufacturing index for Services in China, which will captivate investors right across the globe.

On Friday, most western markets will be closed for the Good Friday public holiday.

The March employment situation report is due in the US, along with consumer credit change data for February.

Economists expect the jobs data to show a 230,000 lift in private sector jobs for the month, with total non-farm payrolls lifting by 225,000, leaving the jobless rate unchanged at 8.3 per cent.

Wrapping up

Rounding off the week, Monday sees Council of Australian Governments reform council chairman Paul McClintock speak at an Australian Institute of Company Directors function in Sydney.

In the US, Cleveland Federal Reserve president Sandra Pianalto will discuss economic stability.

On Tuesday, Stockland managing director Matthew Quinn will speak at a Committee for Economic Development of Australia function in Sydney.

ASIC deputy chairman Belinda Gibson is due to speak at the Ownership Matters Annual Governance Conference in Melbourne.

Global Carbon Capture and Storage Institute chief executive officer Brad Page will address a separate CEDA event in Brisbane.

The Association of South East Asian finance and central bank deputies will kick off a two-day meeting in Cambodia.

On Wednesday, ANZ Banking Group’s Australian chief executive officer, Phillip Chronican, will be guest speaker at an American Chamber of Commerce in Australia business briefing in Melbourne.

Productivity Commission deputy chairman Mike Woods will address a CEDA function in Melbourne.

European Australian Business Council chief executive Jason Collins is due to speak at a separate CEDA function in Sydney.

In the US, San Francisco Federal Reserve president John Williams and St Louis Fed president James Bullard will speak in San Francisco.

And finally, Bullard will speak on the economy and monetary policy in the US on Thursday.