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90 seconds at 9 am: Queues at Cyprus ATMs; US averts shutdown; Japan's trade woes; Gillard lurches on; Mighty River closes; NZ$1 = US$0.833, TWI = 76.5
Here's my summary of the key news overnight in 90 seconds at 9 am, including news people have been flocking to cash machines in Cyprus as the European Central Bank warns it could pull the plug as soon as Monday on the country's ailing banks if the country can't get the money together that would allow a €10 billion international bailout to happen.
Cyprus wants to launch a state investment fund to raise money but nothing has been agreed yet.
In the US, the House of Representatives has approved a Senate-passed bill to extend funding and avert a government shutdown next week. But Congress knocked back a plan for the US Postal Service to end Saturday delivery of first-class mail. The Postal Service lost US$16 billion last year.
In better news US house prices rose 6.5% in the year through January, the biggest jump since 2006. However Wall Street was down after Oracle missed expectations with its quarterly results.
Japan posted its eighth consecutive monthly trade deficit in February. That's the longest run of deficits since 1980. The Bank of Japan's new governor is pledging to expand monetary easing in the country.
Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s minority government lurches on after a bizarre leadership challenge that wasn't yesterday.
Kevin Rudd, who Gillard ousted in 2010, refused to challenge for the leadership after Simon Crean, another former Labor leader, had called for a leadership vote. Crean was then sacked for his trouble.
At home there's no major economic announcements slated for today.
Of huge personal interest for many Kiwis though will be the ending of pre-registration for the Mighty River Power share float at 5pm. SOE Minister Tony Ryall said that as of yesterday 420,000 people had registered interest.
The kiwi dollar has been given a lift by the higher than expected December quarter GDP figures and starts today up close to a cent against the greenback at 83.3 USc, 79.7 AUc, and the TWI is at 76.5.