Here are the key things you need to know before you leave work today.
MORTGAGE RATE CHANGES
TERM DEPOSIT RATE CHANGES
None here either.
NO CASH FOR ME, THANKS
A new survey conducted for the Reserve Bank has found nearly nine in 10 New Zealanders prefer to pay for things without using cash, while just 6% had used only cash to pay for things in the week before completing the survey. “These new survey results reinforce the need for the cash system – the way cash is distributed and circulated – to evolve with the way New Zealanders are using cash,” says Assistant Governor and General Manager of Economics, Financial Markets and Banking Christian Hawkesby. The survey was commissioned by the Bank’s Future of Cash – Te Moni Anamata programme, which is in the final week of a public consultation on proposals for the Bank to take a more active role in the cash system.
AUSSIE INFLATION STILL MISSING IN ACTION
Australia's consumer prices increased by 0.5% in the third quarter, which was in line with market expectations. Annual inflation therefore lifted to 1.7% from 1.6% as at the June quarter. But that doesn't mean the inflation genie is out of the bottle. Once adjusted for seasonal factors prices rose by just 0.3% in the September quarter. Ben Udy, Australia and New Zealand economist with Capital Economics says "looking through the noise", measures of underlying inflation remained weak. He says given the Reserve Bank of Australia's "recent hawkish tilt" the latest data is the final nail in the coffin for any chance of a rate cut in November (leaving Australia's Cash Rate at 0.75%). "Even so, the weakness in seasonally adjusted inflation is further evidence of the underlying weakness in price pressures. And we think that subdued capacity pressures will cause underlying inflation to fall further below the RBA’s 2-3% target in the coming months. That’s why we expect the RBA will cut rates to 0.25% and launch QE in 2020."
BLOWING THE BUDGET AND GETTING SOME MORE
Regulator the Financial Markets Authority blew its litigation budget by about 50% in the past year, according to its just released annual report. The Government has now stumped up $6 million for the FMA's litigation budget for this year. The overspend in the previous year followed extensive and costly litigation for the FMA - notably it's ultimately successful battle with the ANZ over the FMA's sharing of information with Ross Asset Management investors during the period RAM principal and ANZ account holder David Ross was operating a Ponzi scheme. Further results from the FMA's litigation efforts were forthcoming on Wednesday with Steven Robertson, earlier found guilty on 38 charges, getting six years and eight months in jail.
UDC QUIETLY REDEEMS INVESTMENTS
And back on the ANZ, its wholly owned vehicle and asset finance subsidiary UDC Finance has quietly redeemed its remaining outstanding secured investments from the public as of the middle of this month and wound up its debenture programme. UDC, which the ANZ had earlier attempted to sell, stopped taking funds from the public earlier this year.
INCOMING FUNDS A SYMPHONY FOR HARMONY
Meanwhile, it's been a case of money in the door for peer-to-peer lender Harmoney, which has found investors to help bankroll its Australian expansion.
TWO COMMERCE COMMISSION APPOINTMENTS
The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) has confirmed the appointments of Dr Derek Johnston, and the reappointment of Elisabeth Welson, as members of the Commerce Commission.
EQUITY MARKET UPDATE
The NZX 50 was playing maverick on Wednesday with some modest gains (although running out of steam as this was being written), while the markets in Shanghai, Tokyo, Hong Kong and Australia were all seeing falls - though nothing dramatic.
SWAP RATES UP SLIGHTLY
Wholesale swap rates have mostly moved up very slightly on Wednesday after very strong rises on Tuesday. Nearly every rate from one month to five years has gained by 1 bp (with the 90-day bank bill at 1.08% and the two-year at 0.99%), while the seven and 10 years dropped by 1 bp (the 10-year to 1.42%) Australian swap rates are mostly down by about -2 bps. The Aussie Govt 10yr is down -4 bps to 1.14%. The China Govt 10yr is up +2 bps at 3.32%. The NZ Govt 10 yr is down -1 bp at 1.30%. The UST 10yr yield is down -1 bp from yesterday at 1.83%.
NZ DOLLAR MARKS TIME
The Kiwi dollar is pretty much unchanged from earlier in the day at 63.6 USc. Against the Aussie we are very slightly up from the morning at 92.7 AU cents and unchanged against the euro at 57.2 euro cents.
Bitcoin is at US$9,360, very slightly higher than earlier in the day and up about 0.8% in the past 24 hours and around 16% in the past seven days. The bitcoin price is charted in the currency set below.
This chart is animated here.