The continuing February earnings season dominates the week ahead, with some of Australia’s biggest companies across a wide range of sectors due to report.

Companies set to reveal results this week include Rio Tinto, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Wesfarmers and Fortescue Metals Group.

Elsewhere, Whitehaven Coal, CSL and Leighton Holdings will report, while ANZ Banking Group will provide a trading update to the market.

In local news, housing and lending finance data is due, along with consumer sentiment data.

Overseas, United States retail sales data is due, along with figures on industrial production and business inventories.

Finally, gross domestic product data for the fourth quarter will be released in the European Union.

RBA

The Reserve Bank of Australia is in the action again, following its decision to leave interest rates on hold at a record 3 per cent last week.

On Friday, the central bank is due hold its latest payments system board meeting in Sydney.

Elsewhere, Reserve Bank assistant governor Christopher Kent is due to speak at a Committee for Economic Development of Australia event in Perth.

Local news

The week in local news brings a number of key items that will no doubt be overshadowed by the avalanche of company releases.

On Monday, the Australian Bureau of Statistics will release housing finance data for the month of December. Experts are tipping the figures to show finance fell between 2 per cent and 2.5 per cent in the month.

Tuesday brings the January edition of National Australia Bank’s business conditions and business confidence indexes.

Wednesday sees the release of lending finance data for the month of December by the ABS.

Elsewhere, the Melbourne Institute and Westpac Banking Corporation will release its consumer sentiment index for February.

Thursday brings twin releases from the Melbourne Institute in the form of its consumer inflation expectation and unemployment expectations indexes for February.

Corporate

Another glut of earning reports dominates the week in company news. The local calendar is flush with results from some of Australia’s biggest companies.

On Monday, interim earnings results are due from JB Hi-Fi and AVJennings.

Tuesday sees interim figures released by Bradken interim, while Tabcorp will trade ex-dividend.

Overseas, fourth quarter earnings results are due from The Coca-Cola Company, while Barclays is due to report in the United Kingdom.

On Wednesday, the real action begins. Kicking off a massive day will be Commonwealth Bank of Australia, which is due to release interim results. Commonwealth Bank’s will be the only ‘proper’ earnings from the big banks this season, with the other lenders reporting on a different calendar. According to Bloomberg, economists expect Commonwealth to post a 2 per cent rise in interim cash profit to $3.968 billion.

CSL will also report interim figures. Experts are tipping the pharmaceutical giant to post a 20.8 per cent jump in profit to $583.6 million.

Elsewhere, interim results are due from companies including Ansell, Boral, Computershare, Stockland, WorleyParsons and Goodman Fielder.

Full-year results are due from Leighton Holdings and OZ Minerals.

The analyst consensus on Leighton, according to Bloomberg, is for a profit of $438 million, 42 per cent higher than last year.

Elsewhere on Wednesday, ResMed will trade ex-dividend.

Offshore, Societe Generale is expected to release results to the market.

Thursday brings highly anticipated full-year earnings results from global mining giant Rio Tinto.

Experts are expecting the group to struggle in the wake of a number of writedowns throughout the year. Bloomberg consensus has the group’s profit falling 40 per cent to $9.206 billion.

Interim results are due from retail sector behemoth Wesfarmers. The group is expected to post a 2.4 per cent fall in profit to $1.273 billion.

Elsewhere, half-year results are due from Westfield Retail Trust and Downer EDI, along with others including Dexus Property Group, Mirvac, Slater & Gordon and Paladin Energy.

David Jones will release second-quarter sales figures, while Singapore Telecommunication is due to reveal third-quarter earnings figures.

Elsewhere, GUD Holdings will trade ex-dividend.

In the United States, General Motors Co is due to reveal earnings to the public.

Friday is a huge day. The morning will be dominated by a quarterly trading update from ANZ Banking Group.

Elsewhere, interim results from Fortescue Metals Group. According to Bloomberg, economists expect the group to post a 59.6 per cent fall in profit to $323.5 million.

Still on Friday, Whitehaven Coal, Billabong International, Charter Hall Retail and Carsales are due to report.

Domino's Pizza Enterprises, Goodman Group, Pacific Brands, Sims Metal Management, The Reject Shop, Treasury Wine Estates are also due.

Full-year results are due from Westfield Group, Santos and Adelaide Brighton.

Overseas, Anglo American is due to report earnings results.

Offshore

Overseas, key economic indicators are due on both sides of the Atlantic.

On Tuesday in the United States Treasury budget data is due, along with the NFIB business optimism index for January.

In the United Kingdom the January consumer, producer and retail price indexes will all be released, along with the CB Leading Economic Index for the month.

Wednesday brings US retail sales figures for January and import and export price data for the month.

The figures are expected to show retail sales rose 0.3 per cent in the month.

December business inventories are due, along with the weekly Energy Information Association’s petroleum status report.

The Mortgage Bankers Association’s weekly mortgage applications report wraps up a bus day in the US.

Elsewhere, European Union industrial production data for December will be released, while in the UK, the Bank of England will release its quarterly inflation report.

Thursday sees weekly jobless claims data released in the US.

In Europe, fourth-quarter GDP figures for the EU are on tap.

On Friday, the New York Empire State manufacturing survey for February and US Treasury international capital data for December is due.

January industrial production figures and the Reuters/Michigan consumer sentiment index for February will be released.

In the UK, retail sales figures for January will be released, while December trade balance data in the EU is awaited.

Wrapping up

Rounding off the week, Tuesday sees Atlas Iron executive chairman David Flanagan speak at an Australian Institute of Company Directors event in Western Australia.

Atco Australia managing director Steven Landry will address an American Chamber of Commerce function in Perth.

In the US, Kansas City Federal Reserve president Esther George will speak on the country’s economy in Nebraska.

Elsewhere, European finance ministers will hold a meeting in Brussels, while European Central Bank president Mario Draghi will meet with politicians in Spain.

Wednesday brings a speech in Pennsylvania from Richmond Federal Reserve president Jeffrey Lacker on economics and the Federal Reserve after the global financial crisis.

St Louis Federal Reserve president James Bullard will speak on the US economy and monetary policy at Arkansas State University.

Thursday brings a speech from Australian Securities and Investment Commission commissioner Greg Tanzer at a conference in Melbourne.

Overseas, Group of 20 finance ministers and central bank governors kick off a two-day meeting.

In the US, Bullard will again speak on the US economy at Mississippi State University.

In Europe, the European Central Bank will release its latest monthly report.

On Friday, Opposition Leader Tony Abbott is due to speak at a CEDA event in Sydney.

Drillsearch Energy managing director Brad Lingo will address an AMCHAM business briefing in Adelaide.

And finally, Flanagan speaks at another AICD event in Albany, Western Australia.

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