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90 seconds at 9 am: US consumers are spending; Paul Volker is warning; China is buying; the Kiwi is rising; NZ$1 = US$0.839 TWI = 79.1
Here's my summary of the key news overnight in 90 seconds at 9 am, including news the Kiwi dollar rose sharply overnight.
But first, in America a gauge of consumer spending rose more than expected in December, suggesting their economy gathered steam at the end of last year and was poised for stronger growth in 2014. This was despite the snowed-in conditions which essentially killed off new car sales in December. Business inventories also rose a small amount.
American small business confidence was up more than was expected despite their lobby group's grumbles.
The US housing markets have been doing well recently. But weaker demand by financial companies that have been snapping up thousands of homes on the cheap could fuel a future fall in house prices, the chief economist of Fannie Mae has warned.
Paul Volker is also issuing a warning, this time on the funding practices in the giant US$4 tln US local authority funding markets. He wants the SEC to be given oversight powers over this sector.
Across the ditch, China's Bright Foods has snapped up another Australian dairy company.
In Japan stocks there suffered their worst day since August after a bad session on Wall Street, leading Asia lower, as the Nikkei was hit by a strong yen and weak economic data. The same forces saw the Australian sharemarket shed NZ$26 billion in a day in its worst trading since September. By comparison, the local NZX adjustment was minor.
This morning the S&P500 has recovered much of Monday's loss although the Dow's regain is more modest. These gains have taken the wind out of gold's recovery. After hitting US$1,255/oz, the precious metal is now down to $1,245/oz. The benchmark US oil price is up slightly from its recent lows. Brent crude is down on the day but still with a US$15/barrel premium over its American counterpart.
The NZ dollar starts today quite a lot higher at 83.9 USc, 93.5 AUc, and the TWI is at 79.1. That's the second highest the TWI has ever been since our currency was floated 28 years ago. The fast rising strength against the Aussie dollar is today's main driver and you have to go back to 2005 to find levels like today's.
If you want to catch up with all the changes yesterday, we have an update here.
The easiest place to stay up with today's event risk is by following our Economic Calendar here »