Reporting season goes mad

NIKO KLOETEN
Last updated 07:39 18/08/2014

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What you need to know on Monday morning, August 18.

- NZX50 up 15.67 points (0.31 per cent) to 5078.081

- NZ dollar at US84.80 cents, A90.93c, 86.78 yen, 50.80p, 63.27€c

- Brent crude oil at US$103.40 a barrel (up US$1.33)

- Spot gold at US$1304 an ounce

What's on today

- Performance Services Index for June

- Freightways annual result

- Meridian annual result

- Contact Energy annual result

- Opus International interim result

Stocks to watch

- Freightways: The courier company reports its annual result today and investors will be looking for a continuation of the solid performance in the half year to December 31, when it reported a net profit of $22 million on operating revenue of $218m. Excluding one-off items its profit was up 9 per cent on the same period the previous year, while revenue was up 6 per cent.

Top international news

- Flashes of illumination rather than fireworks are expected at this week's annual meeting of top central bankers and economists in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

Few predict anything so momentous as the speech by Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke two years ago that paved the way for an unprecedented US$85 billion per month stimulus plan.

But policymakers will discuss at length their thinking around the labour markets of major economies at the August 21-23 meeting, perhaps dropping clues about the path for monetary policy in the months ahead.

The spotlight will be on Janet Yellen, who will speak on Friday in her first appearance at Jackson Hole as Fed chairwoman.

Other speakers include Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda, Central Bank of Brazil Governor Alexandre Antonio Tombini and Bank of England (BoE) Deputy Governor Ben Broadbent.

Further policy hints might also come in the form of minutes from the Fed and BoE's last monetary policy meetings, due to be published on Wednesday.

The BoE minutes will be examined for concrete signs of dissent among members of the monetary policy committee, after the bank last week seemed to push back the prospect of a rate hike this year.

Something else for your morning

- It doesn't matter what your opinion is on climate change, it is happening, according to the head of Massey University's Institute of Agriculture and Environment, Peter Kemp. The challenge is what we can all do to slow it down, he says. For farmers this is a particularly complex challenge because any mitigation that decreases their production of food is bad for their livelihood and for everyone.

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