5 things ASX 200 investors should watch out for this week

We examine five of the most important equity market and economic data releases set to take place this week

ASX 200 starts the week off higher

The Australia 200 started the week off strongly, with the ASX 200 benchmark nearing the 5,500 point mark, Afterpay hit an all-time high of $43.68 per share, and the energy sector traded bullishly off its recent lows. Even so – with a busy week ahead – we examine five things investors should watch out for over the coming days.

Results for equity investors to watch this week

It’s set to be an important week for equity investors – with CSR Limited set to report their full-year results on Tuesday; Incitec Pivot will also report their half-year results on Tuesday; the Commonwealth Bank of Australia is set to provide the market with a much-awaited Q3 trading update; and cloud-focused accounting software company Xero will report their full-year results on Thursday.

Of those four companies set to report, CBA’s results may be the most-anticipated. Indeed, after ANZ, Westpac and NAB reported a weak set of half-yearly results – which saw provisions blow out and impairment charges soar – investors will likely be keen to see just how much Covid-19 has impacted CBA’s asset quality.

Ex-dividend dates loom

For income-focused investors, ASX-listed ResMed is set to trade ex-dividend on Wednesday, while Janus Henderson will trade ex-dividend on Friday.

Janus has announced a dividend of 54.8 cents per share; while ResMed has announced a dividend of 6 cents per share.

The true confidence game

In the land of economic data releases – on Tuesday, 12 May at 11:30 AM – the National Australia Bank (NAB) will release its Monthly Business Survey, giving investors insight into business confidence and conditions.

NAB’s March release was broadly disastrous, with the bank noting that as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, ‘Business confidence fell to -66 index points – its lowest level on record.’

Business conditions also plummeted, falling to -21 index points, which the bank admitted was ‘slightly weaker than the GFC but well above the trough seen in the 1990s recession.’

Travel statistics at a glance

Also on Tuesday, investors will get a glimpse of Australia’s Overseas Arrivals and Departures data for the March month. In February overseas arrivals plunged, dropping 12.5% on a month-over-month basis to 647,000 trips.

Employment data to be closely watched

Elsewhere, towards the end of the week investors will also get insight into Australia’s most recent labour market data, covering the April month.

The ABS Labour Force data will be released at 11:30 AM on Thursday, 14 May.

Though seasonally adjusted employment figures crept up slightly in March, UBS analysts are expecting things to blow out in April, as the trued extent of the coronavirus’s impact on Australia’s labour market becomes apparent.

UBS analysts are currently expecting employment to decrease by 750,000 people and unemployment to spike to 9.9% in April, up from 5.2% in February.

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