The week ahead brings a solid mixture of economic indicators, as the rapidly approaching holiday period fails to stem the flow of news.
Locally, the release of the minutes of the Reserve Bank of Australia’s last policy meeting will dominate headlines, while current account balance data will also be released.
Overseas, the latest batch of gross domestic product data is due in the United States, while current account figures are due in both the United Kingdom and European Union.
In company news, Australia and New Zealand Banking Group will hold its annual general meeting, along with DuluxGroup and Incitec Pivot.
It’s not all over for the Reserve Bank for this year, despite the central bank having wrapped up its last meeting until February earlier this month. It is after this, though, so get whatever enjoyment that you can out of the busy week ahead before a month of silence over Christmas.
On Monday, Reserve Bank assistant governor Guy Debelle will be a panel discussant at the 25th Australasian Finance and Banking Conference in Sydney.
Tuesday brings the release of the minutes of the RBA’s December policy meeting, where it lowered the official cash rate to 3 per cent, the equal lowest it has ever been.
Investors will watch closely at the reasoning behind the decision and any hint as to what direction monetary policy may be heading in the New Year.
Thursday sees the RBA release it December quarter bulletin, its last for 2102. Following that, we won’t hear from the RBA until mid January.
Lucky the RBA is flat out, because the rest of the week in local news is a bit thin.
On Tuesday, Westpac Banking Corporation and the Melbourne Institute will release their latest leading index of economic activity.
Wednesday sees the Department of Education and Workplace Relations release its most recent skilled vacancies index.
Thursday brings current account balance data for the September quarter from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
In company news, annual general meetings will be held by a number of companies, including one of the big banks.
On Tuesday, Incitec Pivot will hold its AGM, along with Funtastic and DuluxGroup.
Wednesday brings an AGM from Australia and New Zealand Banking Group.
Thursday sees AGMs held by Orica, GrainCorp and Elders.
A number of important groups are due to trade ex-dividend on Friday, including Transurban Group, Map, Ardent Leisure and Sydney Airport.
Elsewhere, Universal Coal will hold its annual general meeting.
Overseas, Nike will release earnings results in the United States.
In overseas news, a steady flow of data from the United States and Europe will keep investors entertained.
On Monday, US Treasury international capital data for October will be released, along with the New York Empire State manufacturing survey.
In Europe, European Union trade balance data for October is on tap.
The Rightmove house price index for December is due in the United Kingdom.
Tuesday brings the December housing market index in the US. Third quarter current account balance data is also due.
In the UK, November consumer, producer and retail price index data will all be released.
Elsewhere, the Bank of England will make its latest quarterly bulletin available to the public.
Wednesday sees US housing start data and building approval figures for November released, along with the weekly Energy Information Associations petroleum status report.
Economists expect starts to have fallen 2 per cent in the month.
Weekly Mortgage Bankers Association mortgage applications data is also awaited.
In Europe, third quarter current account balance data for the EU is on tap.
Thursday brings the latest batch of highly anticipated GDP data in the US for the third quarter.
Jobless claims figures are also due, along with existing home sales data for November. Experts predict that sales lifted by 1 per cent in the quarter.
The December Philadelphia Federal Reserve survey will also be released.
In the UK, retail sales data for November is due, alongside December consumer confidence figures for the EU.
Friday brings November personal income and outlays data in the US, along with the Reuters/Michigan consumer sentiment index.
The Chicago Federal Reserve national activity index for November and the Reuters/Michigan consumer sentiment index for December.
Rounding off the week, Monday sees the World Trade Organisation dispute settlement body meet in Washington.
Elsewhere in the US, Richmond Federal Reserve president Jeffrey Lacker will speak on before the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce.
On Tuesday, The WTO will conduct a trade policy review of the US.
Dallas Federal Reserve president Richard Fisher is due to speak publically.
Elsewhere, the Bank of England is due to publish its latest quarterly bulletin.
Wednesday sees the minutes of the latest BoE meeting released.
The European Central Bank governing council and general council will hold a non-rate setting meeting.
In the UK, the government is due to respond to recommendations by the Independent Commission on Banking on the future of the financial services industry.
THE WEEK AHEAD
The Reserve Bank releases minutes from its final meeting of 2012, while ANZ Bank, Dulux and Graincorp host annual general meetings.
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