Markets Week Ahead: AMP and TWE on watch, pre-Easter IPO rush, and US employment data to follow

Markets Week Ahead: AMP and TWE on watch, pre-Easter IPO rush, and US employment data to follow

Local shares are poised for a bright start to the new trading week. It follows a record close for both the Dow Jones and S&P 500 on Friday, with US indexes surging sharply higher in the closing minutes even as bond yields climbed. A number of important pieces of economic data will be published, and a rush of IPOs also line up locally, with one high-profile ETF in the US also a possible listing candidate.


Economic calendar and news

In what is a shortened trading week thanks to the Easter holidays, a number of high-profile economic data releases will be crammed into the coming days. Among these will be the latest updates on building permits, private sector credit, manufacturing activity, home loans, the balance of trade including exports and imports, plus a final reading of February’s retail sales.

Meanwhile, in the US, outside of data relating to manufacturing and services activity, look out for the latest employment figures, which will be released on Friday US-time, even though US markets will be closed for Good Friday.

Economists suggest that the resurgence in hiring activity has continued throughout March, with consensus figures indicating that as many as 650,000 to 700,000 jobs may have been added to the US economy. In addition, the US unemployment rate is also tipped to drop from 6.2% to 6.0%.



Major movers

Although hit with preliminary import tariffs back in November, Treasury Wine Estates (ASX: TWE) may be in the news this week as China gave a final ruling that marked the formal go-ahead of its tariffs on wine products. The tariffs will be in effect for at least five years, with TWE subject to a rate of 175.6%. Given the company has already prepared for the news, it remains to be seen whether investors are concerned, however, TWE has been at the centre of rumours as a potential takeover candidate for offshore suitors. 

AMP (ASX: AMP) is also expected to be in the news as the company’s exclusive negotiation period with Ares regarding a joint venture for AMP Capital’s private markets division expired yesterday. In an announcement this morning, AMP also indicated that Ares may be interested in purchasing 100% of the business, although a transaction is not certain to proceed. Furthermore, the company’s CEO, Francesco De Ferrari, remains under pressure as speculation builds surrounding his future at the helm of the firm.

Elsewhere, we might see some growing interest in two particular ETFs. 

On the back of weakness in Chinese companies like Alibaba (NYSE: BABA), Baidu (NASDAQ: BIDU) and Tencent Music Entertainment Group (NYSE: TME), the highly-popular BetaShares Asia Technology Tigers ETF (ASX: ASIA) is trading at its lowest level since the start of the year.

Meanwhile, the launch of the ARK Space Exploration ETF (NYSE: ARKX) could be on the cards over the coming days. Led by Ark Investment Management, the same stable that saw a number of its ETFs produce outstanding returns last year, this would be the firm’s first new fund in two years. Although a date is not pencilled in as yet, the possibility of a launch this week is based on the timeline of the SEC’s approval process, which would make tonight the earliest date Ark completes that process.

Macquarie Group (ASX: MQG) and Washington H Soul Pattinson (ASX: SOL) enter the new trading week at all-time highs, although some other names faring well include Aristocrat Leisure (ASX: ALL), Tabcorp (ASX: TAH), Metcash (ASX: MTS) and CSR (ASX: CSR), each of which hit a 52-week high last week.

At the other end of the scale, new lows were hit among TPG Telecom (ASX: TPG), A2 Milk (ASX: A2M), and Cimic Group (ASX: CIM)

Last but not least, three IPOs are locked-in for the week ahead. This includes mining explorers Kincora Copper (ASX: KCC) and Peregrine Gold (ASX: PGD), due Tuesday and Wednesday respectively, with flower grower and wholesaler Lynch Group Holdings (ASX: LGL) expected to list Thursday.


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