BHP Billiton, Qantas and Fortescue release earnings reports in the coming week, while Reserve Bank minutes are on tap.

Earnings results will dominate the week ahead as the February season moves into its peak period.

Companies due to report this week include blue chips BHP Billiton, Qantas Airways and Fortescue Metals Group.

Woodside Petroleum, Coca Cola Amatil, Origin Energy and Fairfax Media will all also reveal figures.

Elsewhere, local news is dominated by the release of minutes of the Reserve Bank of Australia’s last policy meeting.

New car sales data and the latest wage price index are also due.

Overseas, the United States Federal Reserve will release the minutes of its January policy meeting, while key consumer price readings out of Europe and Chinese manufacturing data is on tap.

And finally, the European Central Bank governing council will hold a non-rate setting meeting.


The Reserve Bank of Australia will continue its busy start to 2013 in the week ahead.

On Tuesday, the central bank is due to release the minutes of its February monetary policy meeting, where it left the official cash rate on hold at a record low of 3 per cent.

Investors will pore over the report for any reflection on the future direction of monetary policy, especially after the bank lowered its gross domestic product forecast for 2013 last week, amid concerns that the outlook for mining and non-mining investment has weakened.

Friday sees Reserve Bank governor Glenn Stevens appear before the House of Representatives standing committee on economics at Parliament House in Canberra.

The speech will also be closely watched for any hints on future changes to the cash rate.

Local news

The week in local news sees a mixture of key public and private indicators made available.

Monday brings new car sales data for January from the Australia Bureau of Statistics.

Tuesday sees Westpac Banking Corporation and the Melbourne Institute release their latest leading index of economic activity.

On Wednesday, the ABS is due to release the latest Australian wage price index for the December quarter. Economists are tipping the data to show wages grew by one per cent in the December quarter, taking annual growth to 3.7 per cent.

Elsewhere, the Department of Education and Workplace Relations’ January skilled vacancies index is due.

Thursday brings average weekly earnings data for the month of November from the ABS.


Company news is again dominated by financial results, with the third week of earnings season set to feature reports from BHP Billiton, Qantas and Fortescue Metals.

On Monday, interim earnings reports are due from Lend Lease Group, Bluescope Steel, Pacific Brands, Salmat, Rams Home Loans and Clough.

Full-year results are expected from Boart Longyear.

Elsewhere, Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Bradken will trade ex-dividend.

Tuesday sees interim results from Arrium, Asciano, Sonic Healthcare and Southern Cross Media.

Full-year reports are due from Coca-Cola Amatil and Invocare, while Boral will trade ex-dividend.

While Wednesday is jam-packed with earnings reports, all eyes will be on the resources sector as BHP Billiton, Woodside Petroleum and Fortescue Metals release their results.

BHP will release interim results, with experts from Bloomberg expecting a 42.5 per cent fall in net profit to $5.713 billion.

Fortescue will also release first-half earnings. According to Bloomberg, the analyst consensus is for a net profit of $329 million, a decrease of 58.9 per cent.

Woodside will release full-year results. Economists are expecting the group to post a 34.4 per cent lift in net profit to $2.011 billion.

Interim results are awaited from APA Group, Super Retail Group, Suncorp Group, Australian Infrastructure Fund, NIB Holdings, Toll Holdings and Specialty Fashion Group.

Elsewhere, Bendigo Bank will trade ex-dividend, while Aristocrat Leisure will hold its annual general meeting.

Thursday is another massive day for earnings, led by results from Qantas. According to Bloomberg, the analyst consensus for the national carrier is for a huge 258.2 per cent increase in net profit to $150.46 million.

Other big names dropping first-half results include Fairfax Media, Insurance Australia Group, Tatts Group, Origin Energy, Drillsearch, Echo Entertainment, Macmahon Holdings and Cabcharge.

Ardent Leisure Group, APN News & Media, Alumina, PanAust, iiNet, Paperlinx, Brambles, Iluka Resources, AMP, Adelaide Brighton and ASX will also report.

Elsewhere, Ansell will trade ex-dividend.

On Friday, Santos will release full-year results. According to Bloomberg, experts are expecting the group’s profit to fall 21.5 per cent to $589.692 million.

Macquarie Atlas Roads Group and Ausenco are also due to release full-year earnings results.

Interim figures are expected from Crown, Seven West Media, Seek and BC Iron.

Elswewhere, Coca-Cola Amatil will trade ex-dividend.


Investors will pay close attention to overseas news in the week ahead, with a glut of important data out of the United States and Europe.

On Monday, current account data is due in Europe.

In the United States, the President’s Day holiday will be observed.

The minutes of the Bank of Japan’s monetary policy meeting will also be released.

Tuesday brings two key indicators from out of China; HSBC Manufacturing PMI for February and the CB leading economic index for January.

In Japan, January merchandise and trade balance will be released, as well as import and export figures for the month.

In the US, Markit will release its manufacturing PMI and NAHB unveils its latest housing market index.

On Wednesday, consumer price index data is due out of Europe, while the Bank of England will release the minutes of its previous meeting.

In the US, producer prices for January are due, with experts tipping 0.2 per cent rise in core prices. US Housing starts data for the month are also due.

On Thursday, US Jobless claims and consumer prices for January are expected. Economists are forecasting the core inflation will stand at a 1.8 per cent annual rate.

Also in the US, the Philadelphia Fed Index for February and existing home sales for January are due out.

Flash manufacturing readings for a slew of nations including the US, France and Germany will also be released by Markit.

Friday brings consumer price index figures for the European Union.

Wrapping up

Rounding off the week, Monday sees Commonwealth Bank of Australia chief financial officer David Craig address an American Chamber of Commerce in Australia business briefing in Melbourne.

Overseas, European Union finance ministers are due to hold a meeting in Brussels.

On Tuesday, Australia and New Zealand Banking Group chief economist Warren Hogan is due to address an Australian Institute of Company Directors function in Sydney.

Wednesday brings a speech from federal finance minister Penny Wong to a Committee for the Economic Development of Australia event in Adelaide.

In the United States, the Federal Reserve will release the minutes of its January policy meeting.

On Thursday, Australian Competition and Consumer Commission chairman Rod Sims will speak at a CEDA luncheon in Sydney.

At the same time, shadow cabinet minister Greg Hunt will address an AMCHAM function.

Offshore, St Louis Federal Reserve president James Bullard is due to speak on economic and monetary policy outlook before the Centre for Global Economy and Business in the US.

San Francisco Federal Reserve President John Williams will speak on monetary policy and the economy at the New York Forecasters Club.

In Europe, the European Central Bank governing council will hold a non-rate setting meeting.

Friday brings an appearance from national broadband network Co chief executive officer Mike Quigley at an AMCHAM business briefing in Sydney.

Former Reserve Bank board member Warwick McKibbin will speak at a CEDA event in Melbourne.

Elsewhere, the European Union is due to release its 2013 economic forecast for winter.

And finally, Boston Federal Reserve president Eric Rosengren will speak at the Initiative on Global Markets conference in the US.

The information and expectations contained in The Week Ahead is drawn from a wide range of sources, company announcements and advice and may change without notice.


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