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What to watch on the ASX this week

With earnings season moving up a gear and the release of some key economic data on the horizon, it looks likely to be another eventful week for the Australian share market.

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

Monday.

This morning there are a number of popular shares releasing their half-year results to the market. Highlights include job listings giant SEEK Limited (ASX: SEK), data centre operator Nextdc Ltd (ASX: NXT) and funerals company InvoCare Limited (ASX: IVC). In respect to the latter, investors will be looking out to see if it has had to discount its services like UK rival Dignity.

Tuesday.

The results will continue to come in thick and fast on Tuesday with releases expected from Vocus Group Ltd (ASX: VOC), mining giant BHP Billiton Limited (ASX: BHP), and the embattled Retail Food Group Limited (ASX: RFG). With short interest in Retail Food Group still at high levels, it appears as though short sellers suspect there could be more bad news coming with this release. Elsewhere, the Reserve Bank of Australia will release the minutes from its latest meeting.

Wednesday.

This will arguably be one of the biggest days on the earnings calendar this season with results expected from popular blue chip shares including A2 Milk Company Ltd (ASX: A2M), Corporate Travel Management Ltd (ASX: CTD), Coca-Cola Amatil Ltd (ASX: CCL), Fortescue Metals Group Limited (ASX: FMG), and Wesfarmers Ltd (ASX: WES). The highlight of the group for me is the a2 Milk result. As mentioned last week, Goldman Sachs expects a2 Milk to report a 56% increase in half-year sales to NZ$400.6 million and an 80% increase in EBITDA to NZ$119.6 million.

Thursday.

Overnight on Wednesday the minutes from the Federal Reserve’s latest meeting will be announced. If the notes reveal the potential for four rate hikes this year, it could make markets a touch volatile on Thursday. Back home there are results expected from growth shares including Bellamy’s Australia Ltd (ASX: BAL) and Blackmores Limited (ASX: BKL) and travel shares Flight Centre Travel Group Ltd (ASX: FLT), Qantas Airways Limited (ASX: QAN), and Webjet Limited (ASX: WEB).

Friday.

The week finishes with the release of the half-year result of retail conglomerate Woolworths Group Ltd (ASX: WOW). Late last year Woolies provided a positive sales update which appeared to show a vast improvement in its performance. However, it was unclear whether this was at the expense of margins. On Friday we will find out if this is the case. Elsewhere healthcare shares Mayne Pharma Group Ltd (ASX: MYX) and Nanosonics Ltd. (ASX: NAN) are due to release their results.

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Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro owns shares of NEXTDC Limited and SEEK Limited. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of and has recommended Blackmores Limited, Corporate Travel Management Limited, Flight Centre Travel Group Limited, Nanosonics Limited, Retail Food Group Limited, Vocus Communications Limited, and Wesfarmers Limited. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of A2 Milk. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended Coca-Cola Amatil Limited, SEEK Limited, and Webjet Ltd. 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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