THE WEEK AHEAD

The Reserve Bank's rates decision and the much anticipated US presidential election will dominate headlines, while Westpac hands down results.

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

Elsewhere, the United States Presidential election will dominate news around the world.

Closer to home, trade balance data and retail sales figures are due, along with the latest house price index.

Overseas, United States international trade data and consumer sentiment figures are on tap, while the Bank of England and the European Central Bank will make interest rate decisions.

In the corporate world, Westpac Banking Group will report annual earnings, rounding out the results of Australia’s big four banks of the year. Elsewhere, Commonwealth Bank of Australia will release a quarterly trading update.

RBA

On Tuesday, the Reserve Bank of Australia will hold its November board meeting, where it will make its latest decision on the official cash rate.

Investors will watch carefully, given data last week showed inflation rose more than economist expectations in the September quarter.

Analysts are expecting the RBA to cut rates by 0.25 basis points to 3.00 per cent, but are by no means as certain as they were before last week’s data. More data due early next week is also expected to be considered before the final decision.

Last month, the RBA cut rates for the first time since May, taking the official rate to its lowest level since October 2009.

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

Local news

The week in local news sees a number of important data releases from both private and public sources.

On Monday, trade balance data and retail sales figures for September are due from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Experts are tipping the trade data will show a $1.5 billion deficit, smaller than the last reading, while retail sales are expected to have risen by 0.6 per cent.

Australia and New Zealand Banking Group job advertisements data for October will also be released.

Elsewhere, Commonwealth Bank of Australia and the Australian Industry Group will release their performance of services index for October, while the Melbourne Institute and TD Securities will release their inflation gauge for the month.

Tuesday sees the ABS release its September house price index.

Wednesday brings the October Performance of Construction Index from AIG.

On Thursday, labour force data for October is due. Economists are tipping the figures will show a rise of 10,000 jobs during October, leaving the unemployment rate at 5.4 per cent.

Corporate

The week in company news brings another bunch of annual general meetings and some key moves from financial sector giants.

On Monday, Westpac Banking Corporation will report earnings results. Goldman Sachs analysts expect the group to post a cash profit of $6.566 billion, a rise of 4.2 per cent on the previous corresponding period.

Dexus Property Group will hold annual general meeting, along with ISS Group. Kathmandu will trade ex-dividend.

Tuesday sees annual general meetings held by Nufarm and Oakland Resources.

Wednesday brings a quarterly trading update from Commonwealth Bank of Australia.

AGMs will be held by Downer EDI, Domino's Pizza, Challenger Energy and PharmAust.

In the United States, Time Warner will release third quarter earnings results.

On Thursday, Charter Hall Group will hold its annual general meeting.

Elsewhere, Australia and New Zealand Banking Group will trade ex-dividend.

Overseas, earnings data is due from French giant Societe General and Walt Disney Co.

Friday sees AGMs held by Macmahon Holdings and Rams Home Loans.

SP Ausnet will release half-year financial results, while Westpac Banking Group is due to trade ex-dividend.

Offshore

In overseas news, data from the United States, China and Europe will dominate news.

In the US on Monday, the ISM non-manufacturing index for October will be released. Analysts are tipping the index to show a fall in the reading of 54.7 points.

Elsewhere, HSBC will release its services purchasing managers index for the month of October.

In the United Kingdom, October Halifax house price data and the Markit services PMI are due.

November Sentix investor confidence data for the European Union is also awaited.

On Tuesday, the European Union composite and services purchasing managers indexes for October are due from Markit.

In the UK, industrial and manufacturing production for September is on tap. The producer price index for September is also due.

Wednesday brings the weekly Energy Information Association’s petroleum status report in the US, along with Mortgage Bankers Association weekly mortgage applications data.

Consumer credit change data for September is also due.

Elsewhere, European Union retail sales data for September will be released.

In the US on Thursday, international trade data for September and weekly jobless claims data will be released.

In the UK, the BRC retail sales monitor for October is awaited.

Friday brings the Reuters/Michigan consumer sentiment index for November, as well as import and export price figures for August.

Wholesale inventories data for September will also be released.

In the UK, RICS housing price data for October is due, along with goods trade balance figures for September.

On Saturday, Chinese trade balance data will be released, including figures on import and export volumes.

Wrapping up

On Monday, San Francisco Federal Reserve president John Williams is due to deliver a lecture on unconventional monetary policy at the University of California in the United States.

On Tuesday, the United States public will head to the ballot boxes for the 2012 presidential election.

The recent disaster of Hurricane Sandy has thrust the work of incumbent Democrat Barack Obama into the spotlight, and analysts are expecting that he may triumph in a hotly contested
ballot against Republican rival Mitt Romney.

On Wednesday Santos chairman Peter Coates will speak at a Committee for the Economic Development of Australia function in Brisbane.

Elsewhere, minister for employment and workplace relations Bill Shorten will address a separate CEDA event in Adelaide.

Overseas, European Union commissioner Oli Rehn and is due to speak at the European Policy Centre.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel will address the European Parliament in Brussels.

Thursday brings a speech from resources minister Martin Ferguson at a CEDA function in Melbourne.

The Bank of England and the European Central Bank hold monthly policy meetings, where they will make monthly decisions on interest rates.

Elsewhere, EU commissioner Michel Barnier is due to address a conference in Brussels.

On Friday St Louis Federal Reserve President James Bullard is due to speak on monetary policy and US economy at Washington University.

In Europe, EU finance ministers will hold a meeting aimed at agreeing on the 2013 EU budget.

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