THE WEEK AHEAD

Earnings season is in full swing as Rio Tinto, Telstra and News Corp report, while the Reserve Bank meets on rates.

The Reserve Bank of Australia’s August meeting headlines a busy week in economic indicators, while earnings season kicks into top gear.

Big names reporting include Rio Tinto, Telstra, News Corporation and Leighton Holdings.

Tabcorp Holdings, SingTel and Stockland will also reveal figures.

In local news, labour force data and housing finance figures are due, while the RBA will release its quarterly statement on monetary policy.

Offshore, international trade data will be released in the United States, along with productivity and costs figures.

RBA

A big week ahead for the Reserve Bank of Australia sees a rates decision and key economic statement for the central bank.

On Tuesday, the RBA board will sit for its monthly policy meeting, where it will make its decision on interest rates for August.

Investors will watch carefully for any change, but little is expected after the bank said earlier this month that inflationary pressures in Australia remain contained, despite evidence of stronger growth in recent quarters.

Analysts are expecting the bank to keep rates on hold at 3.5 per cent, with governor Glenn Stevens having indicated he is happy with the current level.

On Friday, the RBA will release its quarterly statement on monetary policy.

Local news

The week in local news brings a solid mixture of public and private indicators.

Monday sees the release of the Melbourne Institute/TD inflation gauge for July.

Australia and New Zealand Banking Group job advertisements data for August is also due.

On Wednesday, housing finance data for June will be released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

The demand for new home loans is expected to have risen by 3 per cent in the month.

The Australian Industry Group’s performance of construction index is also on tap.

Thursday sees July labour force data released. Economists are expecting the data to show employment grew by around 12,000 in July, keeping the jobless rate at 5.2 per cent.

Corporate

A huge week in company news brings a deluge of earnings results from major names.

Tuesday sees Transurban Group report full-year earnings results. Goldman Sachs analysts are expecting the group to post proportionate cash earnings of $430.6 million, a 7.1 per cent rise on last year’s figure.

Leighton Holdings, Bradken and Cochlear will also report full-year results.

Offshore, Walt Disney Company will reveal third-quarter earnings figures.

Wednesday brings interim results from mining giant Rio Tinto. Experts are tipping the company to post a 25.7 per cent fall in underlying earnings to $5.781 billion.

Computershare and Stockland are due to report full-year figures.

Overseas, Dun & Bradstreet Corp will reveal second-quarter figures.

Thursday sees Telstra Corporation unveil full-year results. Goldman Sachs is predicting the company to post a 12.8 per cent rise in underlying profit to $3.561 billion.

Tabcorp Holdings and Aquarius Platinum will release full-year figures.

News Corporation is due to report quarterly earnings results. Economists believe the company will post a $US802.4 million profit for the quarter.

On Friday, Singapore Telecommunications Ltd will release first-quarter earnings results.

Offshore

The week in overseas news brings key data from Europe and the United States.

On Monday, the BRC retail sales monitor for July is due in the United Kingdom.

European Union consumer confidence data for August is also due.

In the United States on Tuesday, June consumer credit change data is on tap.

British industrial production and manufacturing data for June will also be released.

Wednesday sees productivity and costs data for the second quarter released in the US.

The weekly Energy Information Administration petroleum status report is also due.

In Britain, RICS housing price data for July is awaited.

Thursday sees US jobless claims data and international trade figures for June. The trade data is expected to show a deficit of $US47.5 billion.

Wholesale inventories data for June is also due.

Meanwhile, June goods trade balance data is awaited in the UK.

Friday brings US monthly budget data for July, alongside import and export price figures for June.

Analysts expected the budget data to show a $US102 billion deficit.

UK producer price index figures for July are also on tap.

Wrapping up

Rounding off the week, Monday brings a speech from Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd’s Western Australian chairman John Atkins at a Committee for the Economic Development of Australia event in Perth.

On Tuesday, Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke speaks on financial education in the US.

Wednesday sees Qantas Airways chief executive Alan Joyce address an American Chamber of Commerce in Australia business briefing in Sydney.

Rio Tinto‘s energy chief executive Doug Ritchie will speak at a Trans-Tasman business circle event in Brisbane.

On Thursday, the eurozone monthly bulletin will be released by the European Central Bank.

Elsewhere, the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries will release its monthly oil market report.

Friday brings a speech from Resources and Energy Minister Martin Ferguson to a CEDA event in Perth.

Meanwhile, Shadow Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull will address an AMCHAM function in Sydney.

Tourism Australia chairman Geoff Dixon will speak at an Australian Institute of Company Directors event in Hobart.

Finally, the International Energy Agency will release its oil market report.

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