Here are the key things you need to know before you leave work today.
MORTGAGE RATE CHANGES
One spectacular change today; the China Construction Bank has launched a 3.19% fixed home loan rate for terms on one, two and three years.
TERM DEPOSIT RATE CHANGES
The Co-operative Bank trimmed some rates for terms less than one year.
Statistics NZ estimates New Zealand's net migration gain increased by over +8% in the July year when compared with the year to July 2018.
WINTER TOURISM UP
July saw a rise in tourist arrival growth to +2% and a good improvement over May and June. But arrivals from Australia were up only half that even though they accounted for almost half of all July tourist arrivals in the month. Arrivals into Queenstown jumped +13% above the same period a year ago. Visitors from China however are sagging, down more than -6% year-on-year and the July decline was the sixth month in a row it fell from China.
KIWIBANK BOND ISSUE SEEKS AT LEAST $100M
Kiwibank is looking to borrow at least $100 million through a five-year retail bond issue. The unsecured, unsubordinated fixed rate notes will be priced on Friday at a margin of between 1.05% and 1.10% per annum. The five-year swap rate was today at 1.07%, having risen from 0.93% over the past week. At today's rate, the Kiwibank bonds will pay an annual interest rate of between 2.12% and 2.17%. Kiwibank says money raised will be used for general corporate purposes, including lending.
LABOUR PARTY PRESIDENT RESIGNS
Prime Minister and Labour Party leader Jacinda Ardern says she has accepted Party President Nigel Haworth’s resignation. This follows what she describes as "extremely serious" allegations of alleged sexual assault involving members of the Labour Party. Ardern says whilst Haworth stands by the statements he has made, she believes mistakes were made. Haworth says regardless of the outcome of an appeal process into complaints about a party member, fresh leadership will be required.
WELLBEING BILL IN PARLIAMENT
Finance Minister Grant Robertson says the Public Finance (Wellbeing) Amendment Bill has been introduced to Parliament to ensure every Government considers the wellbeing of New Zealanders when creating future budgets. The Bill requires the Government to set wellbeing objectives and explain how they will guide the development of its Budget, reflecting the importance of peoples' health, the environment, and communities, Robertson says. He says the changes are expected to be in place for Budget 2020.
The latest BNZ-Seek employment report shows job ads are "tentatively steadying" after recent moderation. Canterbury is still a drag, and Wellington still positive. Sales industry is negative however, but employment by Government and Defence remains strong. Full-time job ad volumes are moving broadly sideways, they say.
ON THE HOUSES
Housing NZ has issued two "Wellbeing Bonds" totalling $600 mln with 2025 and 2028 maturities. The six year bonds have been priced at 1.4% and the nine year bonds at 1.77% yield. Both have AA+ credit ratings and were part of HNZ’s Debt Issuance program. Housing New Zealand made its re-entrance to debt capital markets in 2018, following a 19-year absence. This was made possible by the then National-led Government’s 2017 decision to increase the limit on market debt to $1.08 bln to help finance the Auckland Housing Program. In 2018, the current Labour-led Government raised this limit to $3.05 bln to account for the state house build program announced in the May 2018 Budget. Today's placement was to wholesale investors only.
In Australia, the Westpac-MI consumer sentiment survey has lapsed back into slight negative territory again with continued pressure on family finances and concerns about the near term outlook weighing on sentiment. It is not the only sentiment survey that is pointing downward.
SWAP RATES RISE YET AGAIN
Wholesale swap rates have turned back up again today. The two year is up +2 bps, the five year is up +3 bps, and the ten year is up +5 bps. The 90-day bank bill rate is unchanged at 1.15%. Australian swap rates are similarly to New Zealand. The Aussie Govt 10yr is up another +4 bps to 1.13%. The China Govt 10yr is unchanged at 3.05%, while the NZ Govt 10 yr is up another +6 bps to 1.27%. The UST 10yr yield is at 1.71% and also up another +6 bps in a day.
NZ DOLLAR SOFT
The Kiwi dollar is softer at 64.2 USc. Against the Aussie we are alos slightly lower at 93.6 AU cents. Against the euro we have slipped to 58.1 euro cents. That puts the TWI-5 softer at 69.5.
Bitcoin is at US$10,067 and down -2.8% since this time yesterday. The bitcoin price is charted in the currency set below.
This chart is animated here.