Week Ahead: Peloton Suitors Line Up, Focus on ASX Financial Services Outlook

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SPI futures are down 0.6%, indicating a decline at the open on the S&P/ASX 200 on Monday. The New Zealand Stock Exchange is closed today for a public holiday. The Australian Dollar weakened to US70.76c from US71.49c on Friday night.

The Australian equity market ended a three-week losing streak on Friday, with local stocks closing higher after a midweek wild sell-off on Wall Street. The S&P/ASX 200 rose 1.9% to 7120.2, supported by a 0.6% gain on Friday.

ASX Earnings Season

This week the focus will be on financial services companies on the ASX as earnings season builds in Australia. Macquarie Group has an operational update on Tuesday, February 8. Commonwealth Bank is due to release its half-year results on Wednesday, February 9. National Australia Bank will provide a trade update on Thursday, February 10.

In its quarterly update released on Monday, ANZ Banking Group said it was considering increasing the size of the current market buyout. It announced looser trading terms in October for its markets business, which will likely impact its first-half performance.

Australian retail data is out on Monday and several business and consumer confidence reports are expected as the RBA ends its bond-buying program on Thursday, after raising the outlook for inflation and employment.

China, Japan

Chinese stocks could post slight early gains after a holiday week. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng China Enterprises Index jumped nearly 3% on Friday in its first session after the Lunar New Year break.

Japan released household spending figures on Tuesday.

US markets

In the United States, after a week of giant swings in tech stock prices, investors will be watching Twitter and Uber closely for any signs of slowing growth when they report earnings.

The peloton suitors will be interested in earnings from the leisure company on Tuesday, with Amazon and Nike being touted as potential buyers. Shares of Peloton jumped more than 40% in after-hours trading on Friday.

A steady gain in U.S. hiring last month puts the Federal Reserve on track to raise interest rates next month and possibly again in May and June. Employers added 467,000 jobs in January and the unemployment rate edged up to 4%. It fell to 3.9% in December from 5.9% last June, a historically rapid decline. Revisions to hiring figures for 2021 showed employers added 709,000 more jobs in November and December than figures compiled by the Labor Department last month. US CPI data is expected to be released on Thursday.

Merchandise

Crude oil prices continue to climb, with analysts predicting further near-term gains as China rebuilds inventories after the Lunar New Year pause. OPEC+ producers are struggling to keep pace with their promises to increase production. Brent crude oil is trading at US$93.41 a barrel, WTI at US$92.28.

Bitcoin is above $40,000, gold is at $1,807.77 an ounce, with expectations of gains as buyers pile in to take advantage of a safe haven hedge against rising inflation and surges. US Fed rate hikes.

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