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What to watch on the ASX this week

What to watch on the ASX this week

Investors are likely to pay attention to financial results from companies such as Blackmores, Wesfarmers and Woolworths this week.

Australian shares dropped marginally last week, with the S&P/ASX 200 index shedding 4.2 points or less than 0.1% over five days to 5,526.7.

The energy sector had the steepest increase of 2.9%, as crude oil prices jumped. Healthcare, industrial and financial companies posted losses, ranging from -3.2% to -0.8%.

Over a week to August 19:

  • Brent oil soared 8.3%
  • WTI crude surged 9.1%
  • Iron ore added 1%
  • Spot gold rose 0.4%
  • Australian dollar weakened 0.3% against the US dollar

What to watch this week

The August profit reporting season continues into its fourth week. You can read detailed coverage on CommSec's reporting season page.

Financial results that are likely to be on the radar of investors this week include Blackmores, Qantas, Wesfarmers and Woolworths.

Fortescue Metals Group (ASX: FMG) declared this morning a final dividend of 12 cents per share, fully franked, as it reported a 212% jump in net profit after tax to US$985m for the full financial year.

Chief executive Nev Power said cost reductions and lower capital expenditure "have more than offset the impact of falling iron ore prices".

On the economic front, CommSec said the highlight is the construction work data for the June quarter, to be released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics on Wednesday.

The data covers residential, commercial and engineering construction. CommSec said the focus will be on residential building figures as it is one of the components taken into account in the calculation of the nation's economic growth.

In the US, Federal Reserve chairwoman Janet Yellen will deliver a speech on August 26, at a symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

"Minutes from the Federal Open Market Committee's July meeting showed officials were split on whether an increase (in interest rates) was needed soon," said CommSec.

Stock movers

Below are the best- and worst-performing ASX 200 stocks for the week ended Friday, August 19.

Company/Index

ASX code

Weekly price change

Cleanaway Waste Management

CWY

+21.6%

WorleyParsons

WOR

+18.3%

Ansell

ANN

+16.4%

IRESS

IRE

+14.2%

Bapcor

BAP

+12.1%

S&P/ASX 200

XJO

-0.08%

Medibank Private

MPL

-7.5%

Mantra Group

MTR

-7.8%

Aurizon

AZJ

-8.6%

QBE Insurance

QBE

-10.9%

G8 Education

GEM

-15.8%

Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance. Source: Bloomberg

This article is intended to provide general information of an educational nature only. It does not have regard to the financial situation or needs of any reader and must not be relied upon as financial product advice. The inclusion of companies in this article does not constitute a recommendation and it’s vital to remember that the value of shares in any company can fall as well as rise, which means you could lose money by investing in them. Investors should consult a range of resources, and if necessary, seek professional advice, before making investment decisions in regard to their objectives, financial and taxation situations and needs because these have not been taken into account. Any securities or prices used in the examples given are for illustrative purposes only and should not be considered as a recommendation to buy, sell or hold. Past performance is not indicative of future performance. Commonwealth Securities Limited ABN 60 067 254 399 AFSL 238814 (CommSec) is a wholly owned but non-guaranteed subsidiary of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia ABN 48 123 123 124 AFSL 234945 and a Participant of the ASX Group and Chi-X Australia.