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- 'Let's plonk houses in paddocks' 81
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90 seconds at 9 am: Irish push Basel III early for EU banks; Germans say no to devaluation; US ready for cliff; Aussie mortgage approvals fall; NZ$1 = US$0.837, TWI = 76.1
Here's my summary of the key news overnight in 90 seconds at 9 am, including news that banks in the EU may need to comply with Basel III before competitors in other parts of the globe as part of a deal, pushed by the Irish, on how the bloc should implement new Basel banking standards. Banks aren't keen on the move and their shareprices fell on the news.
Meanwhile, ECB council member and Bundesbank chief Jens Weidmann said the euro isn’t seriously overvalued and warned governments against trying to weaken the currency. He and many other Germans are worried about the inflationary effects of a devaluation. It is France that is pushing for devaluation.
News out of China is thin during Chinese new year.
In the US, March 1 is fast approaching and that is when US$85 billion in spending cuts - known as the "sequester" - begin to take effect in defense and domestic programs unless Congress acts.
But legislators in Washington are consumed by partisan positioning and don't seem daunted by the prospect of going over the "cliff" this time.
Then again, US$85 in spending restraint is not a big amount in US terms - remember GDP is more than US$1.2 trillion per month - and although a few specialist groups will undoubtedly be hurt by the cuts, markets and perhaps lawmakers are betting it won't seriously derail the US economy.
In Australia, home-loan approvals there fell in December for a third month and the proportion to first-home buyers slumped to an eight-and-a-half year low as RBA interest-rate cuts failed to lure buyers into the market.
Join us in a few minutes when the January REINZ house sales data is released. We will have all the analysis. Yesterday's QV precursor results suggest price gains are spreading out from the main centres.
The kiwi dollar starts the day at 83.7 USc, 81.4 AUc, and the TWI is at 76.1.