Here's our summary of key events overnight that affect New Zealand, with news the role of auditors is being questioned fundamentally.
But first in the US, it is becoming increasingly clear that China isn't going to buy American ag products at the levels touted by the Administration. That aspect of the phase one deal has been completely oversold, and besides it looks like China will divert existing purchases through Hong Kong directly to Chinese ports, thereby counting those in the modest increase promised.
American farmers have taken a hit. The number of farms filing for bankruptcy is up +24% in 2019 from the previous year. It's the steepest rise the farming industry has seen in years, and the total farm debt for 2019 is expected to hit NZ$630 bln and a new a record high. Trade tensions and weather pressures are the key reasons.
In Canada, inflation is rising, up to +2.2% in November, a rise from +1.9% in the year to October. Meat and fuel prices drove the rise.
In China, local government infrastructure projects approved in December now exceed +NZ$200 bln so far, and it is a rush that is causing raw material prices to rise quickly, things like cement, coal and iron ore. China's new infrastructure surge will have an outsized impact on greenhouse gas emissions.
In the UK, a new review of their troubled audit industry has called for a redefinition of auditing and its purpose, reinforcing its role as a public interest function. It says auditing should be separated away from the accounting firms who now control it. It wants auditors to be “suspicious and sceptical” in their work, focusing on detecting material fraud in a forensic way, and ensuring companies can afford shareholder dividends. It also wants them to widen their remit to work in the interests of everyone who relies on a company staying in business, including staff.
Equity markets are in a switched-off mood. The S&P500 is marking time as it has done for a few days now. Europe is similar although the German DAX gave up a -0.4% fall overnight. Yesterday Asian markets yawned as well. But at least the NZX50 did post a notable +0.6% gain.
The UST 10yr yield is at 1.93% and up +5 bps since this time yesterday. Financing the rising US budget deficit underpins these rises. Their 2-10 curve is firmer at +29 bps. Their 1-5 curve is also firmer at +21 bps. Their 3m-10yr curve is up as well at +36 bps. The Aussie Govt 10yr is back up +8 bps since yesterday at 1.25%. The China Govt 10yr is up another +2 bps at 3.26%. The NZ Govt 10 yr is now at 1.57% and up +1 bp from this time yesterday.
Gold is at US$1,475/oz and virtually unchanged overnight.
US oil prices are firm but little-changed at just over US$61/bbl and the Brent benchmark is still just over US$66/bbl.
The Kiwi dollar will start today marginally firmer at just under 65.8 USc. On the cross rates we are holding at 95.9 AUc. Against the euro we are back up to 59.2 euro cents. That puts our TWI-5 at just over 70.9.
Bitcoin is now at US$6,894 with a +2.5% recovery after the recent sharp falls. The bitcoin rate is charted in the exchange rate set below.
The easiest place to stay up with event risk today is by following our Economic Calendar here ».