Here are the key things you need to know before you leave work today.
MORTGAGE RATE CHANGES
None to report today.
TERM DEPOSIT RATE CHANGES
None here either.
KIWIBANK ACKNOWLEDGES 'DISCLOSURE ISSUES' RELATED TO THE CCCFA
Kiwibank says it has "uncovered disclosure issues" in relation to the Credit Contracts and Consumer Finance Act. The bank says it has "proactively" discussed these with the Commerce Commission. At this stage the possible impact of the Commission's position can't be determined with any certainty, Kiwibank says.
GUILTY PLEA IN KICKBACK CASE
A former Auckland Council employee has pleaded guilty to a corruption charge brought by the Serious Fraud Office. Sundeep Dilip Rasila (42) today admitted accepting a $7,500 bribe as council employee in the Auckland High Court. Mr Rasila was employed by Auckland Council as a procurement relationship specialist at the time of the offending. His counterpart, Sunil Chand (56) also pleaded guilty at the hearing. He gave Mr Rasila the kickback in return for his company being awarded an Auckland Council contract valued at $140,150. Mr Rasila and Mr Chand were remanded on bail to reappear for sentencing in the Auckland High Court on 12 May.
The big news today is the stock market rout. Wall Street dived almost -3.1% earlier today. And now the NZX Capital Index is down another -1.0% so far today with the ASX200 down -2.1%. Tokyo has opened down -1.9%, Hong Kong is down -1.2% and Shanghai is down -0.3% in early trade. All these compound losses from yesterday.
NO INSURANCE COVER
Local insurance brokers are telling clients there is very little insurance cover for coronavirus losses. Most insurers have now removed cover for travel to China. Cancellation cover to other regions may apply although it is important to remember there is no cover for ‘disinclination to travel’. Material Damage and Business Interruption policies generally require a physical loss. Cargo Insurance for shipments to or from New Zealand, is also unlikely to provide cover as losses simply due to delay are generally excluded. Most insurance policies will exclude losses from failure to meet contractual obligations for example, a business’ inability to fulfill a supply order.
BIG BROTHER AND THE CORONAVIRUS
China’s facial recognition companies can now identify people even when they’re wearing face masks and also detect people who aren't wearing one. In addition, SenseTime is rolling out a product that incorporates thermal imaging cameras to help spot people with elevated temperatures, already in use in three public places. Samsung has collaborated with SenseTime for building access to its Seoul offices which can identify employees in 0.3 seconds with 99% accuracy even if they are using medical masks, glasses, and make-up.
The latest compilation of Covid-19 data is here. There are now 2930 cases outside China, a rise of +500 in one day. A week ago that number was 1013 so it has more than doubled in one week.
In Australia, official data reports large falls in construction completed in the December quarter. They were especially tough for residential building.
THE FIRE IS GOING OUT
In Australia, the proportion of self-managed Super (of all Superannuation) has fallen to 25.0% in 2019 from 26.3% in 2018. Self-managed Super plans were the slowest-growing sector in their national system after years of strong growth.
An Australian senator has used parliamentary privilege to air allegations of sexual harassment, illicit drug taking and alcohol-fueled benders at consulting firm EY.
LOCAL SWAP RATES DROP AGAIN
Swap rates are down another -3 bps across the board today so far. The 90-day bank bill rate is also down -3 bps to 1.09%. In Australia, their swap rates are currently down -2 bps across the curve. The Aussie Govt 10yr is unchanged at 0.91%. The China Govt 10yr is also unchanged at 2.87%. The NZ Govt 10 yr yield is down -3 bps at 1.19%. And the UST 10yr yield is down -6 bps at 1.35% although that is a recovery from 1.31% at its record all-time low earlier today.
NZ DOLLAR VERY SOFT
The Kiwi dollar has slipped further, now at 63.1 USc. Against the Aussie we are also soft at 95.7 AUc. Against the euro we are softer too at 58.1 euro cents. That means the TWI-5 is now lower at under 69.1.
Bitcoin is another -3.9% lower today at US$9,238. The bitcoin price is charted in the currency set below. Other cryptos are even weaker, most main ones down -8% (Ethereum) to -10% (bitcoin SV) on the day.
This chart is animated here.
The easiest place to stay up with event risk today is by following our Economic Calendar here ».