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The news stream
- Women tops in Auckland real estate 75
- 90 seconds at 9 am: American QE 66
- Wednesday's Top 10 with NZ Mint 49
- Mighty River 'myth busted' 27
- Auckland mayor lauds 'real options' 23
- Thursday's Top 10 with NZ Mint 17
- 90 seconds at 9 am: Markets spooked 15
- China meat delay resolved 10
- Poll shows opposition to LVR limits 9
- Quake claimants win in court 8
90 seconds at 9 am: US BOP deficit falls; Stocks rise; Greece gets rating rise; investors love China again; RBA focuses on jobs; Mike Smith's $2,700/hour
Here's my summary of the key news overnight in 90 seconds at 9 am, including news the US current account deficit fell to its lowest level since 2010 in the July through September period, mainly because the value of goods imported into the country fell.
Of course, we get the New Zealand current account result today at 10:45am and it is unlikely ours fell.
Serious negotiation is going on about the US fiscal cliff, with both parties making counter proposals and announcing fall-back positions. However markets are betting this is just posturing and that a deal will actually be done - even though that seems a highly optimistic leap of faith. However, the Dow is up in mid-day trade by 0.8% and the S&P 500 is up a full 1%. Oil is up $2/barrel, but gold is down sharply to US$1,625/oz.
Part of the market optimism is because Greece's credit rating has been raised from 'selective default' to B-. Standard & Poors says there is "a strong and clear commitment from members of the euro zone to keep Greece in the common-currency bloc".
It's not all roses in Europe however. Spain's bad loans as a proportion of total lending at Spanish banks climbed to a record 11.23% in October as the country’s economic slump led more companies and homeowners to miss credit payments.
However, investors are their most bullish on China's growth prospects, ever, and more favour European rather than US stocks for the first time in two years, a Bank of America monthly survey showed. Positiveness is bursting out everywhere. In fact, credit default swap spreads are at their lowest level since March 2010.
And finally a couple of items you need to know about from Australia. Firstly, the RBA minutes were published yesterday and these confirmed the Aussies, just like the Americans, seem to be more focused on employment than inflation in their policy settings. Expect them to cut rates further.
And secondly, Mike Smith, the CEO of ANZ is someone who doesn't have to worry about his employment - he pocketed more than AU$19 million in 2012, (NZ$23.75 mln) almost double the amount that has previously been reported as his remuneration for the year. That is NZ$65,000 per day, or $45 per minute on a 24/7 basis. And a Merry Christmas to you, Mr Smith.
The NZ$ starts today at 84.2 USc, 80.0 AUc and the TWI is at 75.