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90 seconds at 9 am with BNZ: Greek deal expected later today; Stocks firm on deal hopes and China easing; NZ$ at 84 USc; Lloyds bank claws back bonuses
Here's my summary of the key news overnight in 90 seconds at 9 am in association with Bank of New Zealand, including news a final deal is expected later today to bail out Greece for a second time.
European leaders are meeting this morning New Zealand time to finalise a deal for a €130 billion euro bailout of Greece in time to make bond payments on March 20 and avoid a default and a disorderly ejection of Greece from the euro zone.
The deal will include payments to Greece, a plan to restructure its debt, the creation of a special account to ensure the bailout money is spent correctly and, potentially, a permanent EU/IMF/ECB 'Troika' office in Greece to monitor Greece's adherence to its austerity committments. See more here at Bloomberg.
US and European stocks firmed 0.4% and 1% respectively, also helped in part by China's easing of monetary policy over the weekend boosting hopes for a global recovery.
The New Zealand dollar also firmed, as it often does when appetites for risk are on and investors feel more confident about global growth prospects and commodity prices.
The New Zealand dollar briefly edged above 84 USc overnight and is around 83.9 USc in mid-morning trade. The New Zealand dollar also rose to a 6 month high of 67 yen overnight and is up 17.5% against the yen since December. Japan announced earlier this month plans to print more money to boost inflation and drag its currency down.
Meanwhile, Lloyds Bank in Britain has clawed back £2 million in bonuses from 10 executives involved in a Payments Protection Insurance (PPI) scandal that has cost the bank £3.2 billion. Banker bonuses are a hot topic in Britain where public revulsion over bankers still receiving bonuses despite blowing up their banks and forcing taxpayer funded bailouts.
More than 3 million Lloyds customers are expected to claim compensation worth £4.5 billion after they were sold mortgage or insurance protection insurance that they either didn't know they were paying for or were unable to claim on because they were unemployed or self-employed.