ASX Week Ahead: Gold, tech and mining stocks in focus

ASX Week Ahead: Gold, tech and mining stocks in focus

 

Australian shares look set for a flat start this morning following mixed leads from Friday night’s US trading session, while US futures have inched fractionally higher in the first 90 minutes of trade. Investors will be monitoring the prospect of lockdown measures being further tightened in Melbourne, and whether the NSW government acts to restrict movement or trade as COVID cases increase across Sydney. Stimulus discussion is also set to be front and centre, as well as quarterly reports from a host of high-profile stocks.

 

Economic calendar and news

The local economic calendar is light on new data this week, albeit the RBA will release the minutes from its most-recent meeting on Tuesday, followed by a speech from Governor Philip Lowe regarding the labour market and public-sector balance sheets. Manufacturing and services activity will round out the week.

However, all eyes will be fixed to Thursday’s economic and fiscal update from the government, where new income support measures will be announced. Media reports have suggested that assessment-based support for businesses and their employees looks likely to be provided after September based on tiered payments, while the government is also understood to be expanding its Coronavirus SME Guarantee Scheme.

US earnings season may also drive local sentiment, with IBM, Microsoft, Tesla, Intel and Twitter just some of the names set to hand down reports this week, mostly from Wednesday evening. These results could shape late-week momentum for ASX tech shares such as Afterpay (ASX: APT), Nearmap (ASX: NEA) and Appen (ASX: APX) to name a few. Meanwhile, negotiations over a new round of US fiscal stimulus will recommence this week, with the clock counting down to the expiry of US unemployment benefits on July 30.

 

Reporting spotlight and major movers

Gold shares are set to be on the radar of investors in the week ahead, not just because of the strong price of the precious metal, but many of the companies in this sector will report their quarterly results. This includes Saracen Mineral Holdings (ASX: SAR) on Tuesday, Evolution Mining (ASX: EVN) and Newcrest Mining (ASX: NCM) on Thursday, and Gold Road Resources (ASX: GOR) on Friday.

From the energy sector, Oil Search (ASX: OSH) and Santos (ASX: STO) are set to detail their quarterly activities on Tuesday and Thursday respectively, both hampered by weak oil prices these last few months. Sydney Airport (ASX: SYD) is expected to provide its traffic performance update for June, with flight traffic still at negligible levels.

Also in the reporting spotlight will be South32 (ASX: S32) and BHP (ASX: BHP). The latter will be hoping to receive the same sort of positive reception that its peer Rio Tinto received on Friday when it handed down its results. BHP will provide its operational review on Tuesday, with the price of iron ore surpassing US$110/t in recent days. The company’s shares have been on a tear recently, up 19.7% since mid-May.

Finally, momentum traders may be looking closely at the likes of Fortescue Metals (ASX: FMG), Coles Group (ASX: COL), Mineral Resources (ASX: MIN) and Netwealth (ASX: NWL), each of which chalked up a new all-time high last week.

 

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