What you need to know about the investing week ahead

Credit: Pictures of Money

Last week’s four-day trading week saw the S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) fall 1.7% to finish Friday at 4,999 points.

Meanwhile, US markets continued their rally into the weekend with the Dow Jones closing on Friday at a four-month high.

The S&P 500 gained 1.8% for the week and is now just 3% away from its all-time high set in May 2015.

Friday’s US lead is likely to set the ASX up for a positive start on Monday morning. Here’s what could happen…


The gold price managed to eke out a gain of approximately 0.2% last week, representing the first week in four that the gold price ended higher.

With some positive momentum in global equity markets, investors could see the gold price continue to struggle this week with traders remaining side lined.


The price of Brent crude oil fell 4% on Friday (US time) to US$38.70 a barrel. The recent rally in oil prices would appear to be running out of steam which has caused a predictable flow-on effect to oil and gas stocks.

For the week, Woodside Petroleum Limited (ASX: WPL) fell 4.7%, while Santos Ltd (ASX: STO) lost 2.7%.

Looking ahead and the possibility that short covering is abating could mean that oil stocks will continue to experience near term weakness.

Iron Ore

Iron Ore was trading at just over US$53 per tonne on Friday.

For the week, BHP Billiton Limited (ASX: BHP) and Fortescue Metals Group Limited (ASX: FMG) finished flat, while Rio Tinto Limited (ASX: RIO) recorded a gain of 2.5%.

A report on Friday that China’s economy enjoyed an uptick in the official Purchasing Manufacturers Index (PMI) reading to 50.2%, signalling expansion, failed to inspire buyers. It’s likely that iron ore stocks will remain range bound this week, unless significant new data comes to light.


Looking forward, and the positive lead from Wall Street could flow through to the local market, especially if the drop on the ASX last Friday draws out some bargain hunters amongst bank stocks.

The all-important bank sector continued to set a broad negative tone for domestic investors last week, however, some investors believe value has emerged, which could lead to buying support.

All eyes on the US

Global investors will also be turning their attention to the US earnings reporting season which kicks off this week, and will provide an important gauge on how the US economy is tracking. Any negative surprises here could lead investors to pull the sell trigger on US stocks.

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Motley Fool contributor Tim McArthur has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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