Next week in Australia will again be dominated by earnings reports as we hit the final stretch of the season before month-end. The daily report count diminishes relative to this week, which is always the lumpiest, but there are still in excess of a hundred companies covered by FNArena database brokers yet to report.
Next week also brings a ramp-up in the number of companies going ex-dividend each day – a trend that continues through March. This implies each session will begin with an index handicap.
It’s a quiet week in economic terms, with highlights being US durable goods orders and retail sales and China’s manufacturing and services PMIs for February, which should prove telling.
It is with little doubt confusion and uncertainty will continue to reign next week with regard the coronavirus and its true impact, both on humanity and the global economy. Daily fluctuations on Wall Street this week reflected back-and-forward swings of relief and fear, as one minute it appeared the case count was slowing and the next it wasn’t so clear.
This is unlikely to change in the short term.
In Australia, virus uncertainty was overrun this week by mostly positive earnings reports, despite some stand-out victims of the virus with regard forward guidance, so it will be interesting to see if this trend can continue next week despite the ASX200 now reaching rarefied air.