3 things ASX investors should watch this week

man looking through binocularsman looking through binoculars

It’ll be an action-packed week for investors in ASX shares.

Here are the three things to keep an eye on, according to eToro market analyst Josh Gilbert:

1. Australian quarterly inflation numbers

The Australian Bureau of Statistics will release the consumer price index figures for the March quarter.

Gilbert reckons this will have a huge impact on what the next interest rate move will be after it was kept steady in April.

“The pause in interest rates may be short-lived if this reading comes in hotter than the market expects, as it did in Q4 2022 at 7.8%.

“The monthly inflation indicators are a good reading for the RBA but don’t give the complete picture with a maximum of 73% weight of the overall CPI basket, meaning this reading could provide more surprises.”

Experts are expecting inflation to be at 7% with a resurgence in immigration fueling demand for goods and services, and therefore inflation.

“After plenty of scrutiny over the last week, Philip Lowe and the board’s next move will be more important than ever, and the latest reading on inflation will be the focus for investors next week.”

2. Two ASX 200 giants to provide quarterly updates

The market will watch with interest as lithium miner Pilbara Minerals Ltd (ASX: PLS) and Coles Group Ltd (ASX: COL) reveal their latest numbers and outlook.

Pilbara has been an S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) favourite among investors after it cashed in on high lithium prices in the first half of this financial year.

“In 2023, lithium prices have fallen dramatically, with question marks over EV demand and an end to some government subsidies globally,” said Gilbert.

“However, the key will be the increase in production, which should be outlined next week and help offset falling lithium prices.”

Shares for supermarket giant Coles have outperformed the market so far this year, rising more than 10.8%.

“Investors were rewarded earlier this year with an increased dividend, and they will be hoping that another solid update can come next week.”

With many Australians feeling the pinch on cost of living, they are tending to spend more at the supermarket compared to eating out.

“In an uncertain economic environment, investors are looking for a defensive stock and given its essential business model, Coles is just that,” said Gilbert.

“So [this] week will see if the company is still firing on all cylinders.”

3. Big tech report their earnings

Over in the US, many of the tech behemoths that are popular with Australian investors are announcing their latest figures this week.

According to Gilbert, this includes Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ: GOOGL), Amazon.com Inc (NASDAQ: AMZN), Microsoft Corp (NASDAQ: MSFT) and Meta Platforms Inc (NASDAQ: META).

The NASDAQ-100 (NASDAQ: NDX) has already risen 19% this year, so these results could prove quite the catalyst.

“Their earnings will be critical to justify their valuations,” said Gilbert.

“Last quarter saw resilient earnings, which will be needed again to support Big Tech’s performance so far in 2023.”

Meta’s results on Thursday will be especially interesting, as the stock has rocketed a phenomenal 79% since the start of the year.

“With advertising budgets dwindling, Meta’s earnings are expected to decline 27% year-over-year, but the focus will likely be on cost control after recent job cuts and broader scrutiny over other operating expenses to support profitability.”

The post 3 things ASX investors should watch this week appeared first on The Motley Fool Australia.

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