THE WEEK AHEAD

Reports from Telstra, Tabcorp and more kick off the official start of earnings season, while the Reserve Bank announces its first rates decision of 2013.

Company news dominates a massive week ahead, with the beginning of the February earnings season heralding an avalanche of corporate results.

Telstra Corporation, Cochlear and Tabcorp are among the big names due to reveal earnings to the public, while reports from Transurban, Newcrest Mining and Business Spectator owner News Corporation are also on tap.

In local economic news, the Reserve Bank of Australia will hold its first policy setting meeting of the New Year, where it will make its highly-anticipated decision on interest rates.

Elsewhere, retail sales data, building approvals and trade balance figures will be released.

Overseas, United States international trade data and factory order figures are awaited.

And finally, the European Central Bank and the Bank of England will both hold policy meetings, where they will also make decision on interest rates.

RBA

The first full week of February brings the latest policy setting meeting from the Reserve Bank of Australia.

On Tuesday, the central bank will meet for the first time this year, where it will make its decision on interest rates for the month.

The official cash rate is currently at 3 per cent, its equal lowest level ever. In December, the RBA cut the rate by 25 basis points, taking the total cut since May to 1.25 per cent.

Most analysts are expecting the central bank to keep interest rates on hold at 3 per cent.

For those who like their data represented graphically, Wednesday sees the RBA release its first chart pack of 2013.

On Thursday, the RBA will release its statement on monetary policy for the December quarter. Investors will carefully pry through the report for any reflection on the future of monetary policy.

Local news

The week in local news brings solid mix of private and public indicators, in a time where most of the attention will be on the company scene.

On Monday, the Australian Bureau of Statistics is due to release building approvals data for December. Analysts expect the data to show approvals rose by 1 per cent during the month.

TD Securities and the Melbourne Institute will make their latest monthly inflation gauge available to the public, while Australia and New Zealand Banking Group is set to release job advertisement figures.

Elsewhere, the Australian Industry Group will release its performance of services index for January.

Tuesday brings trade balance data for December from the ABS, along with home price data for the month.

Separately, the Home Industry Association will release its latest monthly house price index.

Wednesday sees December retail sales figures made available by the ABS, while AiG will release its January performance of construction index.

The data is expected to show sales grew by 0.2 per cent in the month of December.

On Thursday, January labour force data, including the latest unemployment rate figure, is due from the ABS.

Economists are expecting the data to show 10,000 jobs were created in the first month of the year, which would see the unemployment rate hold between 5.4 per cent and 5.5 per cent.

Corporate

If you like lots of company news, then you’re in for a treat in the week ahead. The beginning of the February earnings season brings results from a wide range on companies, including some key blue chip stocks.

The week kicks off on Tuesday, when Transurban Group reports interim earnings results. Analysts from Macquarie Group are expecting the company to post an operating profit of $58.2 million for the period.

Elsewhere, first-half figures are due from Cochlear, along with Navitas, Challenger Infrastructure Fund and Challenger Diversified Property Group.

Rounding off a big day, Macquarie Group will deliver an operational briefing to investors.

Wednesday brings interim earnings results from Primary Health Care and REA Group.

Overseas, first quarter results are due from Visa Inc. Elsewhere, Time Warner and News Corporation will release fourth quarter earnings figures.

Figures from GlaxoSmithKline and ArcelorMittal will wrap up a busy day.

Thursday sees Telstra Corporation release interim earnings results. Analysts are tipping the company to post a $1.4327 billion operating profit.

Elsewhere, Bradken, Tabcorp Holdings, Australand Property Group and APA Financial Services will reveal half-year numbers.

Offshore, earnings figures are due from Credit Suisse Group, Coca-Cola Enterprises, New York Times Co and Singapore Airlines.

On Friday, Newcrest Mining is due to report first-half earnings results. Macquarie analysts predict the gold producer will post an operating profit of $338.1 million.

First-half results are also due from Aquarius Platinum, FlexiGroup, Mount Gibson Iron and Webjet.

Offshore

A huge amount of data will be released overseas in the week ahead, with the main focus on Europe.

Sunday sees non-manufacturing PMI data for January released in China.

On Monday, factory orders data for December is due in the United States. Analysts are expecting the data to show a 1 per cent rise in orders.

In the United Kingdom, Halifax house price data and the performance of construction index for January are due.

In Europe, Sentix investor confidence data for the European Union in February is on tap, along with the December producer price index.

In the US on Tuesday, the ISM non-manufacturing index for January will be released. Experts are tipping the index to show little change from last month’s reading of 55.7.

The HSBC performance of services index for January will be released in China, while in Europe, Markit will release its composite PMI for the month.

On Wednesday in the US, the Mortgage Bankers Association will release its weekly mortgage applications data, while the Energy Information Association petroleum status report is due.

Thursday brings weekly US jobless claims data, as well as third quarter productivity and costs figures.

December consumer credit data is also on tap.

In the UK, the National Institute of Economic and Social Research will release its gross domestic product estimate for January.

Elsewhere in Europe, EU industrial production data for December is awaited.

Friday brings US Trade balance figures and wholesale inventories data for December.

In the UK, January figures on house prices are on tap.

And finally, January new loans data will be released in China.

Wrapping up

Rounding off the week, Thursday sees Clough chief executive officer Kevin Gallagher speak at a University of Western Australia function in Perth.

Overseas, the Bank of England will hold its February monetary policy meeting, where it will make its decision on interest rates.

Elsewhere, the European Central Bank will also meet, and also make a cash rate ruling.

Still in Europe, the European Council will kick off a two-day meeting.

In the United States, Chicago Federal Reserve president Charles Evans will speak on the US economy during live interview on CNBC.

On Friday, Minneapolis Federal Reserve president Narayana Kocherlakota will speak before a conference risk probability.

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