Here are the key things you need to know before you leave work today (or if you already work from home, before you shutdown your laptop). It's a skinny edition today.
MORTGAGE/LOAN RATE CHANGES
None so far today.
TERM DEPOSIT/SAVINGS RATE CHANGES
None here either.
GULF BETWEEN NEIGHBOURS
The average value of all homes was up +2% in the three months to January, according to QV HPI data. Invercargill remained the most affordable major urban district, whereas just 190 kms north, Queenstown-Lakes was the most expensive.
A REGIONAL CRUNCH UNDERWAY
Concrete volumes remain under downward pressure as construction activity slows across the country. Nationally they fell -12.2% but in Auckland the retreat was the least of any region, down only -4.4%. Wellington metropolitan region fell -7.7% and Christchurch by -9.7%. It was in the regions that the slowdown is hitting hardest, with Northland down -13.3%, Waikato down -16.9%, Hawkes Bay by -22.4% and Tasman/Marlborough by -14.6%.
On January 30, RBNZ Paul Conway delivered a speech titled: "The importance of quality research and data". Today however quality was not on show for the RBNZ data delivery. We are still waiting for the 3pm release of the RBNZ business inflation expectations survey. Nor the exchange and interest rate data. Hopefully the outage doesn't last too long. Update: this scheduled data access became available at 3:20 pm, thankfully.
RBNZ GETTING WHAT IT IS LOOKING FOR
The RBNZ's inflation expectations survey shows significant progress. The one year expectation is that inflation will be running at 3.2%. In two years at 2.5%. This is an outcome that will move markets. The calls for a higher OCR may have been premature. More here.
Fletcher Building has indicated to the ASX that chief executive Ross Taylor may be about to leave as the company contemplates issuing earnings guidance likely to 'materially vary' from current analysts' forecasts. (see page two, three. That letter was not in yesterday's NZX Halt notice.)
AUSSIE CONSUMER SENTIMENT RISES
The Westpac Melbourne Institute Consumer Sentiment Index rose 6.2% to 86 in February, from 81 in January. This is the biggest monthly gain since April last year, when the RBA paused its rapid series of interest rate rises, and takes the Index to its highest level since June 2022.
AUSSIE BUSINESS SENTIMENT STABLE
Australian business confidence, as monitored by the NAB survey, rose just 1pt to +1 index point, and still well below its long-run average. The improvement was largely driven by manufacturing and construction, partly offset by falls in wholesale and retail confidence. Confidence remained negative across all the states.
EQUITY WINNERS & LOSERS
The NZX50 is down -0.4% in late trade. The ASX200 is unchanged in early afternoon trade. Tokyo is up a very strong +2.4% in morning trade in Tokyo. Hong Kong and Shanghai are both closed for the New Year holiday. Singapore has opened little-changed. The S&P500 gave up its early +0.4% rise to also close its Monday trade little-changed.
OIL PRICES HOLD
Oil prices are up +50 USc to just over US$77/bbl in the US while the international Brent price is now just under US$82/bbl.
In early Asian trade, gold is now at US$2020 and down -US$3 from this time yesterday.
The Kiwi dollar has dropped from where we were this time yesterday on the inflation survey, now at 61.1 USc. Against the Aussie we have dipped to 93.7 AUc. Against the euro we are lower at 56.7 euro cents. That means the TWI-5 is now at just over 70.4 today.
BITCOIN SHIFTS UP
The bitcoin price has moved up today, now at US$50,117 and up +3.5% from this time yesterday. There's been moderate volatility again over the past 24 hours of just on +/- 2.7%.
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