Here are the key things you need to know before you leave work today.
MORTGAGE RATE CHANGES
No changes to report today - so far at least. Update: ANZ has reduced its one year fixed rate by -4 bps to 3.85%.
TERM DEPOSIT RATE CHANGES
None here either.
NOT ALL IT SEEMS
The Westpac MM employment confidence survey for the June quarter shows rising job confidence. But it isn't all it seems. The details reveal a soft underbelly to the survey. The rise was largely driven by a bounce in earnings growth, which recovered from an unusually sharp drop in the previous quarter. Meanwhile, perceived job opportunities fell further, adding to the recent signs of a softening in the labour market.
The trade balance was in surplus again in May, the third consecutive month. Exports remain at high levels, driven by increases in primary sector exports including dairy, fruit, and fish. They are up +8.5% to a new all-time high, while imports rose +7.6% (but that is actually less than it seems because of the May 2018 shutdown to the Marsden Point oil refinery). Exports to China were up a spectacular +29% to $1.5 bln in May led by rises in milk powder, infant formula, beef, and logs. Exports also rose to the US, Japan and Korea. But they fell in May to Australia and the EU. (Our imports from China are relatively tame and we ran a +$553 mln trade surplus with China in May, and a +$1.3 bln trade surplus with China in the year to May.)
PRICE FIXING PENALTY
GEA Milfos International has been ordered to pay a penalty of $825,000 in the Auckland High Court after admitting it engaged in price-fixing with competitor Dairy Automation between at least October 2012 and September 2014. It has also agreed to pay the Commission $100,000 in costs.
BRIGHT SPOT AMONGST PAIN
The NZX50 continues to a bright spot for equity markets and is up +0.3% today so far. That is in contrast to the overnight falls on Wall Street (down -0.2%), Tokyo down -0.2% so far today, and substantial drops in early trading in Hong Kong (-1.2%) and Shanghai (an eye-watering -1.7%). The ASX200 is also lower, down -0.1%.
SWAP RATES FIRM
Local swap rates are up +1 bp across the curve today. The UST 10yr yield is down -5 bps from this time yesterday to 2.01%. Their 2-10 curve is a 'positive' +27 bps while their negative 1-5 curve is at -18 bps. The Aussie Govt 10yr is down -2 bps to 1.29%. The China Govt 10yr is unchanged at 3.27%, while the NZ Govt 10 yr is up +1 bp at 1.56%. The 90 day bank bill rate is up +1 bp to 1.59%.
NZ DOLLAR UP
The Kiwi dollar is up +½c from this time yesterday, now at 66.4 USc. On the cross rates we're also firmer at 95.5 AUc. Against the euro we are still at 58.2 euro cents. That pushes the TWI-5 up to 70.9.
Bitcoin is still in the clouds. It is now at US$11,106, up +4.4% in 24 hours. This price is charted in the currency set below.
This chart is animated here.