Diary: Local Wages, CBA AGM, US Inflation
A quieter week - sort of - with some important data here and in the US and Europe, some major corporate reports and meetings and a few speeches by senior Fed members ahead of next week’s meeting and an expected rate rise.
In Australia, while the focus will be on wages and other data, the headline corporate event will be Thursday’s annual meeting of the Commonwealth Bank and a detailed explanation about how the company became ensnared in the Austrac money laundering debacle.
While the bank’s explanation will be constrained by the filing of its legal defence in court next month, shareholders will want something more than they have already heard from departing CEO, Ian Narev and chair, Catherine Livingstone.
So far as the week’s data is concerned the key focus will be on Wednesday’s Wage Price Index which should show a bit of an acceleration, to 0.7% quarter on quarter or 2.2% year on year reflecting the 3.3% increase in the minimum wage, but beyond this underlying wages growth is likely to have remained weak.
Meanwhile, October’s jobs data (Thursday) is expected to show a 10,000 decline in employment after a long period of strength and unemployment rising to 5.5%.
The NAB business conditions survey (tomorrow) is again expected to be strong though the Westpac consumer sentiment index (out Wednesday) could weaken due to the citizenship sagas in Canberra.
Earnings and annual meetings continue this week.
Among those reporting earnings will be Incitec Pivot and DuluxGroup, plus Ausnet, Elders and Thorn Group.
Annual meetings apart from the Commonwealth Bank, will include Nine Entertainment, Wesfarmers, Medibank Private, Newcrest, Pact Group, Ramsay Holdings and Computershare.
The results of the same sex marriage postal ballot will be released on Wednesday. If Australia votes ‘Yes’ it will be the 25th country to legalise same sex-marriage.
In the US expect to see more solid readings for: small business optimism (Tuesday); retail sales (Wednesday); industrial production and the national homebuilders’ conditions index (Thursday); and housing starts (Friday).
The New York and Philadelphia manufacturing conditions indexes are also likely to have remained strong for November.
Against this though, US CPI inflation (Wednesday) is expected to remain at 1.7% year on year on a core basis, despite a rise in headline inflation due to higher petrol costs.
This week also features remarks from a handful of Fed speakers including outgoing chair Janet Yellen, who is due to speak on a European Central Bank panel on Tuesday, alongside ECB chief Mario Draghi, Bank of Japan governor Haruhiko Kuroda and Bank of England’s Mark Carney.
The coming week also features remarks from St. Louis Fed president James Bullard, Chicago Fed head Charles Evans and governor Lael Brainard to name a few.
US third quarter reporting will again be dominated by retailers, led by Wal-Mart, Home Depot, Target, Gap, Best Buy, Footlocker, L Brands, Abercrombie and Fitch, Williams Sonoma and Ross Stores. Outside of retailing, Cisco is the major reporter. In the UK and Europe the likes of Vodafone and the Royal Mail are down to report.
President Trump winds down his Asia visit this week.Today, Mr Trump and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson participate in the US-Asean summit in Manila, Philippines. He is also expected to sit down with President Rodrigo Duterte of Philippines. Mr Trump is also expected to attend the East Asia Summit the following day to discuss security issues in the region.
In Asia, Japanese GDP growth for the September quarter (Wednesday) is expected to slip back to 0.4% quarter on quarter (from 0.6%), but annual growth is likely to pick up to around 1.7% year on year.
And Chinese activity data for October (due tomorrow) is expected to show continuing solid growth with retail sales up 10.4% year on year, industrial production slowing to 6.4% and fixed asset investment around 7.5%, according to the AMP’s Chief Economist, Dr Shane Oliver.
In Europe Brexit returns to the forefront of debate in the UK Parliament with Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit legislation, the European Union Withdrawal Bill starting two days of intense scrutiny in the House of Commons tomorrow.
The EU’s official inflation reading for last month is out midweek, along with the mid month business activity surveys, the second estimate of eurozone GDP for the third quarter and industrial production data.
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.