Next week is the busiest week in the local earnings calendar by a margin. But while the micro will be in clear view, the macro backdrop remains one of utter confusion.
The sharp increase in the virus death and case count has spurred the Australian government into extending its travel ban, United Airlines to extend its US-China service suspensions, and a mobile phone conference to be abandoned as far away as Barcelona. It’s not because the organisers fear a virus outbreak – although Spain does have form – but rather no one’s prepared to get on a plane to attend.
These are only a few of the responses.
If some clarity around the virus impact can be achieved, markets may be able to stop worrying about the economic impact extending beyond the March quarter. But until then, warnings of global recession grow. Stock markets do not like uncertainty, and as things stand, could run sharply in either direction next week.
Watch out for some squaring up on Wall Street tonight – it’s a long weekend in the US.
The minutes of the February RBA meeting are out on Tuesday, but Philip Lowe has been out and about a lot lately; any surprises are unlikely. The December quarter wage price index is due next week ahead of the GDP result in a fortnight’s time. The RBA will also be closely watching next week’s January jobs numbers.
The minutes of the Fed meeting are also out next week, but Jerome Powell has also this week provided a testimony. The US will see PPI numbers and a flash estimate of February manufacturing PMI.
Japan will release its December quarter GDP result on Monday.
In the midst of the flood of earnings reports, Westpac ((WBC)) will provide a quarterly update. Otherwise, see the FNArena Corporate Results Monitor for all scheduled result release dates. (https://www.fnarena.com/index.php/reporting_season/)