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Diary: Wages, Earnings, RBA Minutes

In Australia, earnings and a key measure of wages will dominate the coming week.

Around 80 major companies are reporting this week, with the most important being BHP Billiton, Wesfarmers, Woolworths, RetailFood Group (for the financial impact of its franchisee scandal). Other such as The Reject Shop and Super Retail Group also report.

It’s a week for media company profits - watch Seven West Media’s tomorrow, it could be dramatic, followed by Fairfax Media’s on Wednesday. Later today Domain, Fairfax’s online property business is due to produce its first results.

Woodside shares will be re-listed today after the institutional part of its $2.5 billion fund raising was completed late last week. It will be interesting to see how the shares to react to the surprise fund raising.

And watch also to see if shares in real estate firm, McGrath are re-listed today by the ASX.

They may not be with McGrath producing new financial data on Friday and doubts about the size and number of the board of directors, and about the status of John McGrath’s 26% share stake and whether it is subject to some sort of restriction by a lender or lenders.

Tomorrow sees the minutes from the reserve Bank board meeting have been overtaken by speeches from Governor Dr Lowe, the bank’s first Statement on Monetary Policy and Dr Lowe’s appearance before the House of Representatives Economics Committee last Friday.

Wednesday’s December quarter wage data will be the major data release of the week and are likely to show wages growth of just 0.5% quarter on quarter of 2% year on year. Average weekly earnings figures for last November are also out on Wednesday.

And December quarter construction activity data (also Wednesday) will likely fall back after a strong gain in the September quarter, according to the AMP’s Chief Economist, Dr Shane Oliver.

In the US, the minutes from the last Fed meeting on Wednesday are likely to attract greater than usual attention but are likely to do little more than affirm that the Fed is on track for another hike at next month’s meeting.

The Markit business conditions surveys for February will remain solid and existing home sales to gain also both due on Wednesday.

The US earnings season slows further, but retailing will dominate releases, led by the mighty Walmart which releases its latest quarterly figures early Tuesday morning US time.

Eurozone business conditions PMIs for February will also be released on Wednesday and are will have remained strong

In Japan, the manufacturing PMI for February (also Wednesday) is likely to have remained strong but watch inflation figures for Japan on Friday. Japan’s January trade account figures are out later today.

Dr Oliver says he expects core inflation for January “ s likely to remain around 0.3% year on year which is well below the 2% target and will prevent any imminent easing in easy money from the Bank of Japan.”

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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