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What to watch on the ASX this week

What to watch on the ASX this week

A series of speeches by central bankers in the US and Australia could impact market movements this week.

Australian shares fell last week, as a gain in the materials sector was not sufficient to offset losses seen in healthcare, industrial and financial stocks.

The S&P/ASX 200 index dropped 33.6 points, or 0.6%, over five days to 5,339.2, its fourth consecutive weekly decline.

Utilities companies were the hardest hit with a 3.1% slump, followed by healthcare providers (-2.6%) and information technology stocks (-2.1%). Two sectors that gained were materials (+2.3%) and energy (+0.2%).

Over a week to September 9:

  • Brent oil climbed 2.5%
  • WTI crude increased 3.2%
  • Iron ore dropped 2.7%
  • Spot gold rose 0.2%
  • Australian dollar shed 0.4% against the US dollar

What to watch this week

The Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged to a two-month low last Friday, after Federal Reserve Bank of Boston president Eric Rosengren said "a reasonable case can be made" for lifting US interest rates. Rosengren didn't specifically say if he supports raising interest rates at the central bank's next regular two-day meeting on September 20-21.

“In light of the impact a central bank speech (Federal Reserve) had on US markets on Friday, comments by officials this week will be key,” said CommSec.

CommSec said investors will pay attention to the speech by Fed governor Lael Brainard in Chicago today, the last from US central bankers before the Federal Open Market Committee meets next week to set its monetary policy.

Meanwhile, there will be speeches by Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) officials Christopher Kent and Tony Richards on Tuesday and Wednesday respectively, while the RBA will also release a quarterly bulletin on Thursday covering key issues.

Among the economic data scheduled for this week, the August employment report by the Australian Bureau of Statistics will be the highlight.

CommSec estimates the data will show that about 20,000 jobs were created last month and that the jobless rate remains steady near a three-year low of 5.7%.

In China, authorities will provide data tomorrow on retail sales, production and investment for the month of August, which CommSec said could impact the Australian share market.

“Retail sales probably continued to barrel on at a double-digit pace – annual growth of 10.3% is tipped,” said CommSec. “Production may have been up 6.1% on a year ago with investment up by 8%.”

China’s stock exchanges will be closed this Thursday and Friday for the Mid-Autumn Festival.

Stock movers

Below are the best- and worst-performing ASX 200 stocks for the week ended Friday, September 9.


ASX code

Weekly price change

Sigma Pharmaceuticals



Whitehaven Coal









Evolution Mining



S&P/ASX 200






Japara Healthcare



Medibank Private



Regis Heathcare






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.