Here's my summary of the key news overnight in 90 seconds at 9 am, including news that New Zealand house prices rose in November at the fastest annual pace since late 2007, led by demand in Auckland, while monthly property sales were their highest in five years.
Meanwhile, Australian home loan approvals rose less than expected in October even after the RBA cut interest rates aimed at stimulating the economy and boosting the housing market. It's not working for the Aussies yet, apparently.
In China, exports slowed sharply in November in a reminder of the external headwinds that are blowing against the country’s economic recovery. That resulted in a trade surplus of "only" US$19.6 bln in November for China, its lowest in five months. This data runs counter to recent good retail sales and factory output data for the same month.
Perhaps it is a sign that China is managing to stimulate its domestic economy, and that would be good for New Zealand. In fact, new car sales in China picked up last month. The signs of a rebalancing are starting to look promising.
The European Union is expected soon to accuse multiple banks of attempted collusion in the setting of Euribor. Barclays has already acknowledged trying to rig the rate, and other banks are likely to be pressed by regulators in the US, Britain and elsewhere into similar admissions. The long-running Libor scandal has opened a whole can of worms for the London and Frankfurt-based banks.
The NZ dollar starts today at 83.3 USc and 74.6 on the TWI.