What you need to watch on the ASX this week

It looks likely to be another busy and volatile five days for the Australian share market this week.

Here are a few things that I think investors should be watching out for:


Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX: CBA) and the rest of the big four banks will come under the spotlight today when the Royal Commission begins. Elsewhere, JB Hi-Fi Limited (ASX: JBH) is expected to release its results to the market this morning. Last month broker Morgan Stanley tipped JB Hi-Fi to have had a stronger-than-expected Christmas period and gave its shares an overweight rating and $32 price target. Today we’ll find out if that was a good call or not.


On Tuesday the shares of Cochlear Limited (ASX: COH), Transurban Group (ASX: TCL), and Challenger Ltd (ASX: CGF) will be on watch when they report their earnings. In respect to the Challenger result, last week Goldman Sachs revealed that it expects the annuities company to deliver net profit after tax (on a normalised basis and pre NRIs) of $211 million and an interim fully franked dividend of 18 cents per share. The broker also forecasts full-year net profit before tax guidance to be lifted to $570 million versus the Bloomberg consensus of $564 million.


The Domino’s Pizza Enterprises Ltd (ASX: DMP) first-half result will arguably be the most anticipated release on Wednesday. The pizza operator had a very disappointing FY 2017 and will be looking to makes amends this year. Short sellers don’t appear to believe this will be the case, however. Domino’s is one of the most shorted shares on the ASX at the moment. Elsewhere, the results of CSL Limited (ASX: CSL) and Computershare Limited (ASX: CPU) are also expected to be released.


I believe Thursday has the potential to be one of the most volatile days of trade this week. Overnight on Wednesday inflation data will be released in the United States. If this data is as strong as economists predict after the recent rise in wages, then it could back up the opinion that U.S. rates will rise quicker than expected. As well as this, telco giant Telstra Corporation Ltd (ASX: TLS) is pencilled in for the release of its half-year report.


The healthcare sector will come under the microscope on Friday when both Medibank Private Ltd (ASX: MPL) and Primary Health Care Limited (ASX: PRY) release their earnings reports. Last week Medibank was named as a negative earnings season surprise candidate by Goldman Sachs. The broker has a sell rating on its shares amid concerns over its top-line growth prospects as a result of a lower than average premium increase this year.

Although Medibank may disappoint this season, I believe these three top growth shares will surprise to the upside.

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Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of and has recommended Challenger Limited and Telstra Limited. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended Cochlear Ltd., Computershare, and Transurban Group. 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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