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ASX 200 first quarter diary: Everything you need to know

The next three months are going to be very busy for the ASX 200 with a number of major events due to take place.

Here’s everything that you need to know:

January.

Throughout the month of January the retail sector will be on watch for trading updates. A surprisingly weak trading update from Kathmandu Holdings Ltd (ASX: KMD) last week has sparked fears that Christmas trading may have been weaker than anticipated across the industry.

On January 10 the BHP Group Ltd (ASX: BHP) share price will trade ex-dividend for the mining giant’s US$1.02 ($1.43) per share fully franked special dividend. This will then be paid to eligible shareholders on January 30.

The following week on January 18 the Aged Care Royal Commission preliminary hearing will take place in Adelaide. This could be the start of a bumpy period for the shares of ASX 200 aged care provider Estia Health Ltd (ASX: EHE) and industry peers Japara Healthcare Ltd (ASX: JHC) and Regis Healthcare Ltd (ASX: REG).

February.

On February 1 the shares of Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ASX: ANZ), Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX: CBA), and the rest of the big four will be on watch when the Royal Commission final report is handed down.

Earnings season kicks off in February with the majority of ASX 200 companies reporting their half year results. One result of interest will be the Telstra Corporation Ltd (ASX: TLS) result on Valentine’s day. All eyes will be on the telco giant to see if it breaks the hearts of income investors by cutting its interim dividend.

March.

Earnings season continues in March with the last remaining results to be released during the month.

But March 28 is the date to mark in your calendars. On this day the ACCC will announce its final decision on the proposed merger between TPG Telecom Ltd (ASX: TPM) and Vodafone Australia. The competition watchdog has voiced concerns over the merger, leading to fears that it may not go ahead. This would be a blow to TPG Telecom and Telstra which are suffering from increased competition and low margins.

Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of and has recommended Telstra Limited. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended TPG Telecom Limited. 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 Scott Phillips.

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