Next Week At A Glance – 23-27 Mar 2020

Weekly Reports | Mar 20 2020

For a more comprehensive preview of next week's events, please refer to "The Monday Report", published each Monday morning. For all economic data release dates, ex-div dates and times and other relevant information, please refer to the FNArena Calendar.

By Greg Peel

I said this time last week that the only thing certain about next week is there will be a next week, beyond that is anyone’s guess. Nothing has changed.

The world has shut or is in the process of shutting down, and now it’s just a wait. Can the news get any worse? Well the case-count and death toll can keep rising, but as for the former this is still a reflection of more widespread testing as it is the spread of infection. This week China had its first day of no new cases, although the world remains ever suspicious.

What China has suggested is any new cases are imported and not home-grown, underscoring the importance of not calling the peak and going back to life as normal too early, as to risk it all flaring up again. Hence Australia’s lockdown may extend to six months.

Perhaps the question here is as to whether the internet can hold up as work-from-home and binge TV stretch capacity.

In terms of next week’s economic releases, we will start to get a better indication of the damage next week, albeit still behind the curve. Most up to date will be the global round of flash manufacturing PMI estimates for March on Tuesday.

Beyond that, US PCE inflation on Friday might be interesting if not irrelevant while fortnightly consumer sentiment might be timely but probably lacking in any surprise.

The RBNZ has a scheduled policy meeting on Thursday, but scheduled policy meetings are now an anachronism.

The local ex-dividend season continues to roll on next week and looking at the list, there’ll be plenty of companies wishing they could take them back. Flight Centre, Webjet, Seek and UR Westfield being among them.

There is also a burst of out-of-cycle earnings reports next week which all likely follow the same theme: earnings, too long ago; guidance, none; outlook, no idea.

Reporters include WH Soul Pattinson ((SOL)), Clover Corp ((CLV)), Hub24 ((HUB)), Nufarm ((NUF)), Sigma Healthcare ((SIG)) and Brickworks ((BKW)).

The ASX/S&P quarterly index rebalance has been postponed.

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