The local stock market is positioned for a nervy start when trading resumes this morning, with US futures opening sharply lower and likely to offset a positive lead from ASX futures.
Tech shares could be susceptible to earnings updates from FAANG stocks later this week, while US GDP also represents a high-profile data point that may influence broader investor sentiment. Meanwhile, Coca-Cola Amatil has been approached as part of a $9.3 billion takeover bid.
Economic calendar and news
This week’s economic calendar is somewhat sparse, with the key data releases being inflation, export and import prices, and private sector credit. After inflation turned negative last quarter, forecasts suggest that result will be flipped when the figures are released ahead of next week’s RBA board meeting.
Overseas, a raft of bellwether stocks will hand down earnings, including major tech names such as Microsoft, Apple, Amazon, Facebook and Alphabet. Alongside earnings season there will also be high-profile economic readings into durable goods orders, consumer confidence and sentiment, personal income and spending, plus the all-important GDP for the third quarter. After a record slump in the second quarter, economic growth is set to soar as the US economy reopened in large parts across the country.
In China, the ruling Communist Party will hold its annual meeting this week. The event is usually a key moment for mapping out the nation’s economic and social policy framework over the coming five years. China has unveiled a “dual circulation” strategy in which it intends to promote the domestic cycle of production, distribution and consumption and reduce its dependence on overseas markets. Details are expected to be released over the coming days.
ASX major movers
Coca-Cola Amatil (ASX: CCL) will be in the spotlight this week amid news that the non-alcoholic beverage bottler has given its support to a near $10 billion takeover offer from its offshore peer, Coca-Cola European Partners. The offer is priced at $12.75 per share for the portion of the business not held by US parent company The Coca-Cola Co, with that stake set to be acquired in a separate transaction.
With the Nasdaq set to be shaped by earnings from FAANG stocks, ASX tech shares could see some added volatility this week on the back of broader sentiment for the sector. Afterpay (ASX: APT) managed to pass the $100 threshold last week, setting a new all-time high in the process.
Westpac (ASX: WBC) has this morning signalled it will book a $1.2 billion hit to cash earnings when it releases its full-year report next week. The write-downs stem from the bank’s AUSTRAC settlement, as well as customer remediation efforts and a revaluation in its life and car financing division.
Iron ore miners are also likely to be in focus, influenced by any policy developments out of China’s Communist Party Annual Meeting. In addition, Fortescue Metals Group (ASX: FMG) is scheduled to publish its September quarterly production report on Thursday, with the company seeing iron ore prices remain elevated right throughout the quarter.
Among the companies holding their annual general meetings this week are Bendigo Bank (ASX: BEN), Boral (ASX: BLD), Link Administration Holdings (ASX: LNK), JB Hi-Fi (ASX: JBH) and South32 (ASX: S32).
Another player in the buy-now pay-later segment is set to list on the ASX, with e-commerce merchant Zebit (ASX: ZBT) making its debut today after raising $35 million in capital.
Portal websites REA Group (ASX: REA) and Carsales (ASX: CAR) both hit an all-time high last week, with each sector seeing resilience throughout the pandemic. In the case of second-car cars, prices have risen around 30% year-on-year amid a spike in demand, while property prices have held up well despite early concerns a housing crash was on the cards. Meanwhile, Summerset Group Holdings (ASX: SNZ) and Dicker Data (ASX: DDR) eclipsed their own former highs, yet Telstra (ASX: TLS) set a new 52-week low.
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