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Diary: Earnings, Volatility, Jobs

First up it will be markets that will hold the attention of investors this week after last week’s big losses amid chaotic trading.

There’s also the corporate reporting season - it accelerates in Australia, the UK, Europe and Asia, and starts fading in the US.

At week’s end the Lunar New Year break starts in China and much of Asia.

Later this morning the banking Royal Commission starts in Melbourne - that’s certain to impact the share prices of major Australian banks and other groups from time to time.

Given the market instability, there are a couple of important US statistics out this week - retail sales for last month and Consumer Price Inflation.

Both reports have the capacity to whack investor sentiment - especially the CPI - or they could boost it.

Both the January retail sales and inflation data will be released overnight Wednesday, our time .

The AMP’s Dr Shane Oliver says we should “expect (US) retail sales to remain solid reflecting high confidence levels, strong employment, rising wages and the tax cuts.”

“Core CPI inflation is likely to slip to 1.7% year on year though,” he said. The headline figures are likely to show a rise above 2% because of rising petrol prices and interest rates, but they will be stripped out in the core data.

There’s also industrial production (Thursday), the NAHB home builders index (also Thursday) and housing starts (Friday).

The US 4th quarter financial results season slows this week (see separate story).

In Australia, the focus in the week ahead will be on confidence, jobs and profits.

The January NAB business survey (out tomorrow) is likely show that business conditions and confidence continue to be strong, while Dr Oliver says we can expect consumer confidence for February on Wednesday “to have at least held on to recent gains”.

The big release will be the January jobs report from the Australian Bureau of Statistics on Thursday.

Dr Oliver thinks the January jobs report on Thursday “is likely to show a 5,000 gain in jobs after some very strong months with unemployment remaining at 5.5%.

RBA Governor Phil Lowe’s makes his first Parliamentary appearance of the year on Friday and is likely to reinforce the message that while the RBA is upbeat, it is in no hurry to raise interest rates

The Australian December half 2017 earnings reporting season will 58 major companies reporting including Amcor, Cochlear, CSL, IAG, Woodside Petroleum, ASX, Origin, Telstra and South32 (See separate story).

Japan’s December quarter GDP growth is out on Wednesday and Dr Oliver says it is expected to show softer GDP growth at around 0.2% quarter on quarter.

In the lead up to the start of the Lunar New Year, China releases loan and monetary aggregates data later today.

In Europe, the second estimate of December GDP will be released with a small upward revision tipped from the first reported quarter on quarter rate of 0.6%.

Germany is also announces its 4th quarter GDP performance, with market expectations of a quarterly growth rate of 0.6%, down from 0.8% logged in the third quarter.

View More Articles By Glenn Dyer

Glenn Dyer has been a finance journalist and TV producer for more than 40 years. He has worked at Maxwell Newton Publications, Queensland Newspapers, AAP, The Australian Financial Review, The Nine Network and Crikey.

At the AFR he was a finance writer, Finance Editor, News Editor and Chief of Staff. At the Nine Network he was supervising producer of Business Sunday for more than 16 years. He has also written for other online and analogue print publications here and overseas.



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