Ahead of another busy schedule for local earnings, the Australian share market is poised for a muted start to the new trading week. Heavyweights CSL and BHP report over the coming days, M&A activity is in focus, and the latest job figures will reflect the full impact of recent lockdowns.


Economic calendar and news

Dominating the local economic calendar will be the latest employment figures from the month of July. The data is expected to reflect the impact of the third wave of COVID gripping the country of late, albeit cushioned by assistance packages from state and federal governments. 

Nonetheless, economists believe the Australian economy shed around 50,000 jobs last month, while the unemployment rate is tipped to inch higher to 5%, softened by a drop in the labour market participation rate. 

Elsewhere, minutes from the Reserve Bank of Australia’s most-recent Board meeting will be published on Tuesday, before RBA Assistant Governor (Financial Markets) Christopher Kent speaks to the FX Markets 2021 Conference on Friday.

From the US, July retail sales will be in focus, alongside the latest readings on industrial production, manufacturing production, building permits, housing starts, jobless claims, and the minutes from the Federal Reserve’s late-July meeting.



Stocks on watch

Monday features reports from an assortment of names from different sectors, including JB Hi-Fi (ASX: JBH), Bendigo Bank (ASX: BEN), LendLease (ASX: LLC) and Carsales (ASX: CAR), to name a few.

The day after, BHP (ASX: BHP) will headline the reporting names, with the iron ore miner tipped to announce a bumper dividend on the back of expectations of massive profits. That comes amid a strong half for companies in the iron ore space, with prices at one point surging above US$230 per tonne. Woodside Petroleum (ASX: WPL) and Magellan (ASX: MFG) are among the other stocks vying for attention on Tuesday.

CSL (ASX: CSL) is the biggest stock to report in the week ahead, with the biotech giant pencilled in for a Wednesday unveiling of earnings. It won’t be alone, however, with the likes of Coles (ASX: COL), Domino’s (ASX: DMP), Santos (ASX: STO) and OZ Minerals (ASX: OZL) also set to publish results.

Shifting to Thursday, and gold miners Newcrest Mining (ASX: NCM) and Evolution Mining (ASX: EVN) will report amid a volatile streak in precious metal prices lately. Origin Energy (ASX: ORG) and Treasury Wine Estates (ASX: TWE), both facing their own headwinds, will detail FY21 earnings, while Perpetual (ASX: PPT), Star Entertainment (ASX: SGR), South32 (ASX: S32) and the ASX (ASX: ASX) will also follow suit.

Rounding out the week, Cochlear (ASX: COH) and Sydney Airport (ASX: SYD) are the most high-profile companies on show. Although the latter is now locked out of any meaningful return to travel for the foreseeable future, with the latest COVID outbreak showing no signs of abating across Greater Sydney, few are expecting the company’s near-term guidance to show any strength. However, the company has received a revised takeover bid from a consortium led by IFM Investors, with the group increasing their original offer of $8.25 per share to $8.45 per share in order to get a look at the company’s accounts. The Board has almost instantly dismissed the bid, so analysts will be keeping an eye out for further commentary on the prospect of a takeover when the company reports.

In the US, consumer stocks are front and centre, with the retail sector one of the areas set to showcase late-season results. That means the likes of Walmart (NYSE: WMT), Home Depot (NYSE: HD) and Target (NYSE: TGT) will be under the microscope, although a number of smaller-cap retail stocks will also release their quarterly earnings reports.

Electronic chip maker Nvidia (NASDAQ: NVDA) is the week’s other high-profile stock on the radar of investors. Amid a global semiconductor shortage that has plagued a number of industries, chip firms like Nvidia have seen an unprecedented level of demand, often caught short in terms of their capacity to meet orders. That could mean a blowout result, however, the stock has appreciated significantly this year, so it could be a case of the market judging the result on the company’s outlook guidance.


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