Last week’s headlines were dominated by the outbreak of Omicron, resulting in choppy trading around the world.

Although data is still being gathered, there are early signs the new coronavirus variant isn’t as deadly as its Delta cousin.

In the US, Fed Chairman Jerome Powell gave a testimony before the US Senate, and said it may be time to speed up the pace of the central bank’s tapering program.

“It’s now appropriate in my view to consider wrapping up the taper of our asset purchases, which we actually announced at the November meeting, perhaps a few months sooner,” Powell said.

Powell also said the word “transitory” isn’t applicable anymore to describe today’s inflation, and that it’s “a good time to retire that word”.

In Europe, there is similar pressure to hike rates, as the eurozone CPI hit a record 4.9% for the year to November.

Meanwhile in Australia, the September quarter GDP shows a contraction of 1.9%, much lower than what economists had predicted (2.5%-3% contraction).

And according to Corelogic, Australian housing values were 1.3% higher in November, marking the 14th consecutive month of increases.

Over the past 12 months, the national housing value has increased by 22.2%, adding approximately $126,700 to the median value of an Australian home.

Although values are continuing to rise, the November result was the softest outcome since January when values rose 0.9%.


Source: Core Logic


Economic calendar for this week


The key event this week is the RBA meeting and interest rates decision on Tuesday. In the November meeting, the RBA dismissed calls for rate hikes in 2022.

Job advertisements.

Weekly consumer confidence.
RBA meeting and interest rates decision.
Property prices index for the September quarter.
CBA household spending for November.

Skilled job vacancies for November.

Weekly payroll.
Speech by RBA governor Philip Lowe.


International calendar


US (US time)

Key focus this week will be Friday’s crucial inflation data, which is set to dictate the monetary direction the US Fed will take.

US productivity and labour costs.

US job openings for October.

US CPI for November. Commsec says core inflation is expected to increase by another 0.5% from the 4.6% we saw last month.

Europe (European time)

EU employment numbers for the quarter. Market is expecting a 0.9% increase in jobs.
EU GDP for Q3.


Chinese CPI number. Commsec says the Chinese factory gate inflation is at 26-year high.


ASX IPO calendar for this week

According to the ASX, these are the companies to make their listing debut this week.


Australian Bond Exchange (ASX:ABE). This company provides financial advice and dealing services in the OTC bond market, funds, ADIs, as well as advisory services to Australian companies. ABE raised $10.4m at 65c a share.

Larvotto Resources (ASX:LRV), a mineral explorer that raised $5m at 20c.

Newmark Property REIT (ASX:NPR), a fund that invests in Australian properties. It raised $128.3m at $1.90.


American West Metals (ASX:AW1), an explorer that raised $15m at 20c.

RocketBoots Limited (ASX:ROC). This company has a software that captures machine learning data through the use of cameras and sensors. It then applies these data to business optimisation and loss reduction strategies in industries such as consumer retail and banking. ROC raised $4.25m at 20c.


5E Advanced Materials (ASX:5EA). This is the Australian listed holding company of American Pacific Borates (ASX:ABR), which will list on the Nasdaq later this month or early January.

ABR is a minerals explorer and producer focused on the development of its 100% owned Fort Cady Borate Project. No funds were raised.

The Hydration Pharmaceuticals Company (ASX:HPC). This company sells liquid, tablet and powder hydration solution products in the US and Canada. It raised $17m at 29c.


Panther Metals (ASX:PNT), a mineral explorer that raised $5m at 20c.