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Australian shares are expected to open in positive territory as investors focus on the key week for earnings season following some better-than-expected company profit results.
The SPI futures index was up five points at 4335. The Australian dollar has weakened further, touching $US1.0422 in early trade today, down from $US1.044 late on Friday. It was also buying 84.41 euro cents, 66.34 pence and 82.92 yen.
Australia has a busy week of earnings ahead, kicking off today with BlueScope and Bendigo and Adelaide Bank. Other major companies to report this week include Amcor, Flight Centre, BHP, Fortescue, Seven West Media, Woodside, CSL, QR National and Qantas.
What you need to know
- Local stocks end strong week on a high
- US stocks extend gains as Apple hits record
- Euro stocks rise on Merkel's ECB backing
- Financial calendar: Local week ahead
- Wall St outlook: Is the market too complacent?
Making news today
In economics news:
- Australian Bureau of Statistics merchandise imports for July
- Commonwealth Bank business sales indicator for July
In company news:
- The following companies release full-year results: Imdex, Gerard Lighting Group, BlueScope Steel, Challenger, NIB Holdings, Bendigo and Adelaide Bank, Clearview Wealth, Macmahon Holdings, Mineral Resources, Fleetwood Corporation, Tassal Group, Western Areas NL
- Sydney Airport July Traffic Results
- Mount Burgess Mining general meeting
- Talent2 International extraordinary general meeting
- Commonwealth Bank ex dividend date
- Telstra ex dividend date
Making news this week:
- Tuesday: RBA minutes for August board meeting, Mirvac and Flight Centre results
- Wednesday: Westpac-Melbourne Institute leading indexes of economic activity, BHP, Seven West Media, Coca Cola, AGL, Woodside, Pacific Brands and Asciano full-year results
- Thursday: David Jones Q4 results, QR National, Fairfax, Fortescue, Tatts Group, IAG, Qantas, Origin Energy
- Friday: Woolworths, Whitehaven full-year results
Making news in the US this week:
- Monday: Chicago Fed national activity index
- Wednesday: Existing home sales
- Thursday: Jobless claims for week of August 8, PMI manufacturing index flash for August, new homes sales for July 2012
- Friday: Durable goods orders for July
CommSec economist Craig James expects tame trade, with no key local data to be released while the holiday season in Europe and the US bubbles along.
"Investors have been encouraged by the local earnings season so far because it hasn't been as bad as expected," Mr James said.
"This is the key week for profit results so we'll get a good idea about where the economy stands after hearing from the major companies."
There was a reasonable expectation that local stocks would remain buoyant following strong runs in Europe and the US in recent weeks, he said.
How we fared on Friday
At the close on Friday, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up 39.9 points, or 0.92 per cent, at 4,370.1, while the broader All Ordinaries index was up 40.3 points, or 0.93 per cent, at 4,393.8.
BusinessDay with agencies