ASX Week Ahead: CSL, BHP, Westpac and ANZ on watch, alongside travel stocks and retailers

ASX Week Ahead: CSL, BHP, Westpac and ANZ on watch, alongside travel stocks and retailers

The local market looks set to start the week on the back foot, with ASX futures entering the weekend with a sharp decline. That came despite a largely flat finish in the US market on Friday night. With little economic news on the calendar this week, ASX reporting season is set to separate the winners from the losers. We have a look at the biggest names to report in the coming days.

 

Economic calendar and news

The economic calendar for the week ahead will be less eventful than recent times, with only a small number of news releases to look out for. Both the Federal Reserve in the US as well as the Reserve Bank of Australia will release Board minutes from their most-recent meetings. Manufacturing and services data will also be published throughout the week in both countries.

The ongoing recovery in the US jobs market will be analysed closely as the trend points to fewer workers filing for jobless claims. Last week marked the first time since COVID-19 hit the US economy that jobless claims totalled less than one million. Elsewhere, Friday’s US retail sales data showed that retail sales are now above pre-pandemic levels. The corporate impact of this trend will be on show this week as retailers like Walmart, Home Depot and Target report.

 

ASX reporting spotlight and major movers

This week’s upcoming earnings reports include:

 

 

Bank stocks will be in focus once again this week as Westpac (ASX: WBC), ANZ (ASX: ANZ) and Bendigo Bank (ASX: BEN) hand down results. The trio all performed strongly last week as investors looked beyond the crippling lockdowns in Melbourne and the dire unemployment landscape.

CSL (ASX: CSL), Cochlear (ASX: COH) and Sonic Healthcare (ASX: SHL) will represent the health care sector when they hand down earnings in the coming days. CSL and Cochlear have struggled to find any meaningful momentum during the market rally in recent months, with both companies forecasting an impact from COVID-19 on FY20 results.

Retailers will also be in the spotlight, with expectations currently high for e-commerce businesses as well as defensive retailers. JB Hi-Fi (ASX: JBH), Kogan (KGN) and Coles (ASX: COL) reached all-time highs last week and enter this week full of momentum. The same goes for Wesfarmers (ASX: WES), which has exposure to the likes of Bunnings and Officeworks and also posted a record high last week.

BHP (ASX: BHP) is set to report on Tuesday, with investors hoping for a bumper dividend thanks to the strong iron ore price. Given many other companies have slashed or scrapped their dividend altogether, the miner could be on the watchlist of dividend hunters as BHP is expected to be one of the few businesses to increase its dividend this reporting season.

Last but not least, shareholders will get a closer look at the major toll that COVID has had on the travel and leisure industries this week. Some of the companies that will publish earnings include Crown Resorts (ASX: CWN), Webjet (ASX: WEB), Auckland International Airport (ASX: AIA), Qantas (ASX: QAN) and Star Entertainment Group (ASX: SGR). Although each of the companies are expected to unveil a significant hit to revenue and earnings in the first half of this calendar year, it is just as likely that analysts will be scrutinising commentary about trading conditions post-EOFY.

 

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