ASX Week Ahead: Local reporting season begins; FAANG stocks and US GDP in focus

ASX Week Ahead: Local reporting season begins; FAANG stocks and US GDP in focus


After a flat start to the ASX this morning, tech shares are likely to be at the heart of volatility once again this week, with a number of the FAANG stocks set to report in the US over the coming days. Local earnings season also kicks off, with several high-profile names set to update the market. Meanwhile, growing tension between the US and China will also be monitored throughout the week, alongside key global economic data and stimulus plans.


Economic calendar and news

The week ahead is set to be occupied by global economic data, however, inflation and building permits will be the main economic readings released in Australia. In some circles, inflation (or deflation in this instance) is forecast to come in at a record negative rate for the quarter. Friday’s official manufacturing and non-manufacturing data out of China will be watched closely, often linked to Australian equities on account of the trading activity between the two nations.

However, the US will be front and centre with a swathe of data this week, which will almost certainly shape the movement of the local market. Beyond sensitive data such as durable goods, personal income and spending and jobless claims, the big ticket item will be US GDP for the second quarter. Market forecasts predict that economic growth slumped almost 35% in the June quarter.

The US Federal Reserve will meet this week, where members are anticipated to renew their accommodative position in supporting the US economy. Meanwhile, Republicans in the US Senate will reveal their plans for the latest tranche of stimulus money, with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin suggesting the near-US$1 trillion plan could be introduced as early as Monday US-time.

If that’s not enough, spread throughout the week will be earnings results from Facebook, Apple, Amazon and Alphabet (Google), among a host of other bellwether US industrial stocks. With the highest-profile names reporting Thursday US-time, on the same day US GDP data is released, Friday’s ASX trading session looks set to be a pivotal day.


Gold has passed US$1900/oz


ASX reporting spotlight and major movers

Fortescue Metals Group (ASX: FMG) will release its June quarterly production report on Thursday. Strong iron ore demand out of China, as well as major supply issues in Brazil have played a backdrop to the operations of Australia’s third-largest iron ore miner. FMG shares have risen 51.1% year-to-date, positioning it among the best-performing large-cap stocks in 2020. Its peer, Rio Tinto (ASX: RIO), will hand down its half-year results on Wednesday, having already flagged its quarterly production output in the last couple weeks.

Another company in focus this week will be Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield (ASX: URW). The shopping centre retailer, which has had a rotten year on account of its global malls being hit hard by stay-at-home lockdown measures, will present its half-year results on Wednesday evening European-time.

Cimic Group (ASX: CIM) will also join in on early reporting season as it details its own half-year results on Thursday, the same day that Macquarie Group (ASX: MQG) will hosting its annual general meeting.

Elsewhere, Credit Corp Group (ASX: CCP) will publish its final FY20 results on Tuesday. The company signalled a fortnight ago that its NPAT would be in the vicinity of$10-15 million, weighed down by COVID provisions and impairments to purchased debt ledger (PDL) assets.

Outside of reporting, ASX gold stocks will once again be watched closely as the precious metal nudged above US$1900/oz on Friday. While the rising commodity price has been a boon for gold miners and producers, investors will also be mulling the outlook of a rising Australian dollar, which generally weighs on businesses that export or report in US dollars.

Last but not least, in terms of momentum stocks, there were 52-week highs for Mineral Resources (ASX: MIN), OZ Minerals (ASX: OZL), Elders (ASX: ELD) and Hub24 (ASX: HUB). It is the second consecutive week that Mineral Resources enters the trading week on a new high. At the other end of the scale, Coronado Global Resources (ASX: CRN) hit a new all-time low last week, with investors showing the stock little support in recent months.


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