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90 seconds at 9 am with BNZ: Aussie inflation lower than expected; Fed holds rates as expected; gold and oil jump unexpectedly
Here's David Chaston's 90 seconds at 9 am summary of overnight financial news in association with Bank of New Zealand, including news that it's all about official rate decisions today.
Firstly, we have the NZ rate decision at 9am which is being covered by Bernard Hickey in Wellington.
Australian inflation for December was lower than expected, leading some to think rate cuts are the next RBA action. But core inflation there was higher than expected, and the markets may be having a re-think expectations about the next move on February 7.
The US Fed had a rate review overnight and kept things unchanged, as expected. But it said it planned to hold short-term interest rates near zero "at least through late 2014" - so its low-rates policy is to stay for at least another 18 months. But the US economy is recovering only slowly, and it is reiterating that it faces significant downside risks even as growth picks up.
The overnight European news was mixed. The British economy shrank more than expected in the fourth quarter, while German business confidence rose in January, indicating its economy is still growing.
Back here, manufacturing confidence ended the year on a positive note. The PMI was in expansion territory, with manufacturers feeling positive overall about their prospects - except perhaps in the Wellington region. And, larger maufacturers, the ones more likely to be exporters, are more positive than smaller ones. Clearly most New Zealand manufacturers have long-since learned to live in such a way that the exchange rate is less of an issue for their businesses.
The day starts with the NZ$ at US$0.8120, EU0.6220 and AU$0.7680.
Gold was in the doldrums overnight but in the last few minutes has suddenly spiked but over $50 per ounce and is now over US$1,700/ounce. Something to keep an eye on. Oil has also rallied strongly in late trade, but is still below US$100 per barrel.