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90 seconds at 9 am with BNZ: NZ dollar ends lucky streak; Anemic U.S. retail sales, Jobless benefits up; Time running out on Greek debt swap; Kiwibank slashes 4-yr home loan rate to 5.99%
Amanda Morrall details the key news overnight in 90 seconds at 9 am in association with Bank of New Zealand, including NZD performance, anemic U.S. retail sales data, lack of progress on Greek debt swap talks and Kiwibank's four-year home loan rate.
The New Zealand dollar's lucky streak looks to have hit a wall on Friday the 13th after reaching a high of .79 U.S. making it the strongest performing G10 currency
for the latter part of this week.
Yesterday saw the Kiwi rise against the euro to a new high but analsyts are circumspect about movements today. (For analysis on the NZD performance against international currencies see contributing article by Mike Jones here).
Meanwhile sluggish retail sales in the U.S. and a increase in first-time claims for jobless benefits there took the steam out of markets bringing a pause to a three-day rally. U.S. retail sales rose at the weakest pace in seven month. The Dow Jones Industrial index fell 17 points while the S&P 500 nudged down 0.54%.
The markets also appear to have reacted to comments from European Central Bank president Mario Draghi who expressed renewed concerns about the long-term outlook for the eurozone. While Draghi said cheap loans were helping to stabilise the banking sector he admitted the future was still very much uncertain. (Reuters carries the details here).
Time is running out on a Greek debt swap deal that would see bondholders take a 50% hair cut. The Institute of International Finance (IIF), which represents banks holding Greek debt, said talks aimed at finding a way to cut the country's borrowing load failed yesterday but will resume today in Brussels. (See Bloomberg article here for more details).
An accord was signed more than two months ago on the write-down but creditors have yet to agree on the coupon value and a maturity date on new bonds to determine total losses for investors. The IIF wants the swap to be implemented by the end of this month.
And closer to home, state-owned Kiwibank is making news after cutting its four-year home loan from 6.79% to 5.99% making it the lowest four-year rate offer of any bank in New Zealand right now. Borrowers hoping to take advantage of the deal require a 30% deposit.