Dairy prices rise in USD, fall in NZD; US retail sales slip; US industrial production weak; Singapore trade surplus up but trade lower; UST 10y at 0.87%; oil and gold down; NZ$1 = 68.9 USc; TWI-5 = 71.7

Dairy prices rise in USD, fall in NZD; US retail sales slip; US industrial production weak; Singapore trade surplus up but trade lower; UST 10y at 0.87%; oil and gold down; NZ$1 = 68.9 USc; TWI-5 = 71.7

Here's our summary of key economic events over the weekend that affect New Zealand, with news markets have turned more cautious today.

But first up, there was another dairy auction, and it was both surprisingly positive - and negative at the same time. Analysts had expected a -3.5% fall in prices this time following the prior event's -2% fall. But in fact prices rose +1.8% in US dollar terms, bolstered by strength in SMP (+2.5%) and WMP (+1.8%). However, the rising New Zealand currency has completely wiped out those positives and in local currency, overall prices were down -0.9%. Taking a longer term view, in fact overall prices are still in a narrow range that has been in effect for more than four years. If Fonterra stays with its re-found commodity focus, it will always be the servant of the currency.

In the US, retail sales growth for October came in lower than expected and much lower than for September. The October year-on-year gain only looks reasonable because of earlier month rises and not because of any strength in October.

And things are not improving in November with the Redbook weekly monitoring reporting lower month-on-month results.

US household debt rose in the September quarter, reversing the small retreat in the June quarter. And their net worth recovered fully after the big Q2 stumble. The net worth gains (+US$8 tln) far exceeded the debt rise (+US$87 bln).

US industrial production for October reported negative year-on-year changes (-5.3%), but if there is a silver lining it is that the decrease was less on this basis than for September.

Despite both exports and imports falling, Singapore turned in a strong and rising trade surplus in October. However for a country like Singapore, the decline in total trade is not really a good thing.

In New York, the S&P500 has slipped by a marginal -0.3% in midday trade today. Overnight, European markets were marking time as well and little-changed. Yesterday, Tokyo ended its session up +0.4%, Hong Kong was up a minor +0.1%, and Shanghai closed down a minor -0.2%. The ASX200 had a bumpy trading session again due to its tech but stayed open and recorded a daily gain of +0.2%, while the NZX50 Capital Index also closed up +0.2%.

The latest global compilation of COVID-19 data is here. The global tally is 55,244,000 and a +681,000 rise from yesterday. It is grim in France, Russia, the UK, Spain and central and southern Italy with very serious stress on their hospital systems. It is even worse in Belgium. Global deaths reported now exceed 1,331,000 and up +11,000 from yesterday.

The largest number of reported cases globally are still in the US, which rose +170,000 since this time yesterday to 11,561,000. The US remains the global epicenter of the virus. The number of active cases is surging at 4,285,000 and that level is up +91,000 in one day, so many more new cases more than recoveries. Hospitalisations jumped +10% in just five days. Their death total now exceeds 253,000 and continuing to rise by more than +1000 a day. The US now has a COVID death rate matching Bolivia, Mexico, Italy and the UK of 762/mln.

In Australia, they are not getting any significant resurgence. There have now been 27,756 COVID-19 cases reported, and that is just +6 more cases and only one new one in the new South Australia cluster. Only 80 of their cases are 'active' now (-6). Reported deaths remain unchanged at 907.

The UST 10yr yield will start today down -3 bps at 0.87%. Their 2-10 rate curve is flatter at +70 bps, their 1-5 curve is also flatter at +27 bps, with their 3m-10 year curve following the flattening trend +79 bps. The Australian Govt 10 year yield is down -1 bp at 0.92%. The China Govt 10 year yield is also firmer by +1 bps at 3.31%. And the New Zealand Govt 10 year yield is up a sharp +8 bps at 0.92%.

The price of gold has fallen -US$10 this morning from this time yesterday and now at US$1886/oz.

Oil prices are lower today and by about -$0.50/bbl so it is under US$41/bbl in the US, while the international price is now just over US$43/bbl.

And the Kiwi dollar is little-changed today at 68.9 USc. Against the Australian dollar we are a little firmer at 94.4 AUc. Against the euro we are down slightly at 58.1 euro cents. That means our TWI-5 is little-changed at 71.7.

The bitcoin price is a very strong +6.0% higher this morning from this time yesterday, now at US$17,570. That is a rise of almost exactly +US$1000 in one day and more than +US$2000 in one week. 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 ».

Daily exchange rates

Select chart tabs »

The 'US$' chart will be drawn here.
Loading...
Daily benchmark rate
Source: RBNZ
The 'AU$' chart will be drawn here.
Loading...
Daily benchmark rate
Source: RBNZ
The 'TWI' chart will be drawn here.
Loading...
Daily benchmark rate
Source: RBNZ
The '¥en' chart will be drawn here.
Loading...
Daily benchmark rate
Source: RBNZ
The '¥uan' chart will be drawn here.
Loading...
Daily benchmark rate
Source: RBNZ
The '€uro' chart will be drawn here.
Loading...
Daily benchmark rate
Source: RBNZ
The 'GBP' chart will be drawn here.
Loading...
Daily benchmark rate
Source: RBNZ
The 'Bitcoin' chart will be drawn here.
Loading...
End of day UTC
Source: CoinDesk

We welcome your comments below. If you are not already registered, please register to comment.

Remember we welcome robust, respectful and insightful debate. We don't welcome abusive or defamatory comments and will de-register those repeatedly making such comments. Our current comment policy is here.

71 Comments

'In calling the current market the third “Real McCoy” bubble of recent decades, Jeremy Grantham described, in his own words, what I call the Iron Law of Valuation: a security is nothing more than a claim on some set of future cash flows that investors expect to be delivered into their hands over time. The higher the price an investor pays today for some amount of cash in the future, the lower the long-term return the investor can expect on that investment.'
https://www.hussmanfunds.com/comment/mc201116/

Isn't he just expressing fundamentals Andrew? When studying finance i learned, or understood that if returns are fixed (or stable) the higher the price than essentially the lower (the rate of) the return. The other angle on this is that one only pays higher prices when one expects higher returns. In today's world, I guess any return is considered a bonus.

Depends on whether they've been playing by the rules, if not you could end up like this guy. Politico article: Biden’s IRS could finally give Trump’s tax returns to Democrats!
https://www.politico.com/news/2020/11/16/biden-irs-trump-tax-returns-436494

US household debt rose in the September quarter, reversing the small retreat in the June quarter. And their net worth recovered fully after the big Q2 stumble. The net worth gains (+US$8 tln) far exceeded the debt rise (+US$87 bln).

US industrial production for October reported negative year-on-year changes (-5.3%), but if there is a silver lining it is that the decrease was less on this basis than for September.

If future asset cash flow values are not sustainable, via profitable economic production, over capitalising them today in an environment of falling interest rates, will surely disappoint investors over time.

29
up

Who is she kidding! $5000-10000 grant what difference is that going to make. Same as the last 3 years, tinkering here and there to say that they did something, but at the end it did nothing concrete. They are a joke and I can’t believe they can sleep at night with how much damages they let happening on their watch.
Bloody disgusting

What do you think about world wide interest rates Oreo..might be the elephant in the room?

The grant makes a huge difference.
It's an extra $10,000 to leverage meaning the house price can be another $50,000 and the fhb won't even notice. Pffft. That's only another years hard labour.

Seriously?
Prices of the entire housing stock will rise by $50k before the first FHB applicant can even get their application in

$40k more debt then? Nice one, cheers Jacinda. Problem solved.

13
up

So much stupidity in the FHB market right now. Some thoroughly convinced that a million-dollar house at a 45 minutes' drive from Wellington CBD bought with a 10% deposit is a great deal.
I see newbies taking advice from mortgage brokers that there couldn't be a better time to borrow, regardless of insane house prices, because low interest rates mean the 'expense' portion of your mortgage is lower than your rent.

They should be concerned about the cash outflow from the next 20-30 years of their paycheck, not a P&L figure that means squat when things go sour.

They must be talking to some real cowboy mortgage brokers! I spoke with one recently who was quite clear that the situation is very dire in the main cities, and it's unlikely to get better, but that ultimately the determining factor for what we'd spend on a home should be our level of comfort to service a 30 year debt commitment.

Wages should increase over the next 30 years so serviceability shouldn't be an issue. We're in too deep for a catastrophe now - governments won't let it happen, there'll be bail outs for everyone. So I can see why FHBs are throwing a casual million at houses. They're being told they'll be worth double that in 10 years, and theres little evidence to suggest that won't happen at the rate we're going.

Honestly there's a small part of me that thinks that for once doing the right thing is the idiot's move and waiting for everyone to do the right thing is going to get you left behind. What if I just took out a $1m mortgage and bought the family home I'll need in three years now? And so on. Maybe I would have been tempted a year or two ago, but my situation is different now. But I can certainly understand the mindset of those left waiting on the sidelines for something to happen that everyone is desperately trying to avoid even talking about, from the RBNZ to the PM (who was elected on the platform that things were unacceptable as they stood, no less).

Ill fix that bit for you

"what we'd spend on a home should be our level of imprisonment to service a 30 year debt sentence"

pin...pretty much all the evidence shows house prices are extremely unlikely to come anywhere close to doubling in the next ten years. It is not that unrealistic to think real (inflation adj) Akld prices will be lower in 2025 or even 2030 than in 2020. I suggest people familiarize themselves with the 35%+ drop over a FIVE YEAR period in the late 70s. Seem to be many similarities between now and the mid 70s.

Who cares about inflation-adjusted prices?

18
up

While watching Jacinda get grilled on the 6pm news last night, I gave an audible sigh and a glance at my wife, whose head was shaking. More concerned frowning and more fence sitting. What help is $10k when house prices are going up $40k odd per month? It's too much to expect anything other than useless tinkering around the edges.

18
up

I believe the correct term is "polishing a turd"

A real Polished Turd..

It normally takes two slaves to pay a deposit of such magnitude to get a mortgage, or rent a House, that was and is built of crap materials and often built on a crap site. Plus having to insure it, for crap returns, like those still waiting in Christchurch for the Govt Insuance Brokers, to pay up over 100K that they stole, sorry, "Neglected" to pay out in full as was each and every Houses due. That a Govt dept, could be on such shaky ground, is one thing, compounding the neglect to pay, speaks Volumes.....thousands still waiting for a raw deal return, from being fully insured, but not fully rewarded in a Quake Zone.. ..The Rocky Horror show...New Zealand Style.
I do believe it was a National led department, that stalled for 7 years....but the Jury is out and some people would have died, whilst waiting for a payout on this. So a crap Govt department, pays out crap. for crap houses, on a crap site, plus money is worth crap all now, without Interest.

Which is now totally crap...Today.

She's laying the framework for an inheritance tax. People just don't pick up on it. She keeps talking about housing not being something you can only afford 'if your parents can afford to lend you the money'. The misread on her is that there are now huge numbers of young people who have no chance of ever paying a mortgage off unless their parents kick the bucket. Implementing a tax won't vapourise the wealth because future mortgage obligations through various government inaction (including, most egregiously, Ardern herself) because 30 years of mortgage commitments on massively overvalued houses has already vapourised it. She just wants to clip the ticket for political expediency and so it looks like she's doing something.

I hope you're right, an inheritance tax is an obvious way to deal with inter-generational inequality. Why not tax the only truly unearned income that drops into the lap of those already born with many advantages?

Maybe the key to inter-generational inequality is a tax system or population strategy that stops billions pouring into housing investment in the first place, rather than taxing kiwis for dying? I guess that would involve governments actually doing something, instead of decade after decade of institutional failure and just handing the bill to someone else. Like I say, people are all for taxing the rich until they mean it will mean selling Dad's Mustang or having to get rid of the family bach.

Why not both? I'm certainly not against increasing taxes on property and/or land, and would not argue with slowing down migration.

Care to explain what makes the family bach untaxable, despite the recipients likely having put in precisely zero money or effort to receive it? We have decided that honestly earned money should be taxed at 33% or more, why not tax the unearned income too?

Utter rubbish. A wealth tax will not address any inter generational inequity. It will rake the cream off the top for the pollies though, and might just make things more expensive. The UK has an inheritance tax already I understand. How does that work for later generations?

And every generation has its advantages and disadvantages, so jealousy across generational divides is just a reflection of character and not a direction for policy.

If the Government is genuinely looking at an inheritance tax, then they are again just fiddling around the edges without doing anything really substantive to address the cost of housing.

It's also an exercise in sheer belief over logic to think that the government who is incapable of doing anything and has let this massive house price surge happen under their watch will suddenly develop the competency to implement the kind of investment needed to address 'intergenerational inequality', or even come up with a sensible implementation framework for the tax itself, as the CGT debacle showed with their partisan report and then walking away from it completely when it turned out to be a mess.

I didn't mention a wealth tax. The UK does have an inheritance tax, although it's unfortunately in the process of being watered down over the years.

Inheritance tax does not relate to jealousy across generations - it's about reducing the inequality between people in the same generation caused by dynastic wealth. The rich kid who already has a gilded upbringing, expensive education, perhaps a handy internship or other placement arranged by wealthy relatives has enough advantages already. A blob of money falling on them without them having done anything to earn it is the one thing that can reasonably be taxed to try to level the playing field.

Yes I mis-typed sorry. But I still disagree with you, an inheritance tax is one based on jealousy, and will not change the inequity one iota. A point to consider some research I read a few months back (I think presented on this site) was that inter-generational money only lasts on average three generations, so those rich kids can pretty much be relied on to squander it anyway.

But could you explain how taxing one group will make it better for another? I am genuinely curious to see if you've actually thought that one through?

Do you also think income taxes are based on jealousy? Or GST?
I ask because you often read here comments about this, that or the other tax being based on jealousy. I'm never quite sure what people mean by that. In some cases jealousy (or envy at least) is an appropriate reaction to injustice. I think it's unjust for example that income people make by working hard is taxed, but that the windfall of an inheritance (which by definition wasn't earned by the receiver) is not. If other people want to say that that's 'jealousy' or 'envy' , that's fine by me.
Taxing one group can make it better for another by broadening the tax base, thus relieving the tax burden on income earners.

No, I do not think income tax is based on jealousy, but family wealth usually should and be accumulated with tax already paid on it. I am old enough to remember the Death Duties that used to be imposed and the pain they often caused families. Tax on established wealth usually does not make life better for another group. The issues are that modern economies are tending to ignore the opportunities for the masses, those of us who are just averagely talented, not enamoured of schools and so on, but still want and need a job to have a lifestyle. The traditional wealthy often were through business's that provided employment in their communities. Today however wealth is being developed through financial means which does not produce employment or much if any societal benefit. But the taxation should occur when that wealth is realised i.e. by sale or borrowing against a change in value etc. An inheritance tax or a wealth tax does not level a plying field as it does not reduce an individuals ability to accumulate it or lift someone who can't. Making sure the opportunities are available for everyone does however, and that is achieved through regulation of a market.

Disclaimer; I have never inherited anything, and am not likely to unless there is some rich relative hidden in the wood pile that i do not know about.

"Family wealth usually should and be accumulated with tax already paid on it."

If I go to a restaurant, I pay for the meal with my earnings, on which I have already paid tax. If I hire someone to clean my house, ditto. Does that mean the cleaner or the restaurant owner should not have to pay tax?

Now you're starting to be silly - the cleaner and restaurant owner should pay tax. You asked the wrong question should your payment to the cleaner or the restaurant be tax deductible? And that would depend, on whether you consider your lifestyle to be a business and is registered as such.

The problem here is most peoples wealth now comes from untaxed capital gains on property. Therefore the statement "...wealth usually should and be accumulated with tax already paid on it" does not ring true for most cases. The gubbmint could get around the lack of a CGT by grabbing the tax at the other end.

Hence my comment; "Today however wealth is being developed through financial means which does not produce employment or much if any societal benefit. But the taxation should occur when that wealth is realised i.e. by sale or borrowing against a change in value etc." So that realisation of value would likely occur in the means of how it is distributed to heirs, thus enabling tax to be paid.

I have seen similar research, as well as mixed reports on whether inherited money actually improves lives at all (certainly at the 'trust fund' levels it removes a lot of the incentive for the next generation to make it on their own two feet). Perhaps the taxing is just saving the recipients from themselves..

Raising an inheritance tax is only one part of the equation - I am not saying that the government needs more money and this is how to grab it. In my ideal world, inheritance tax would reduce the current burden of income tax. Each generation gets to stand by itself a little more, keep more of what the earn themselves without so much money raining down from heaven on an uneven distribution of them.

This helps to promote what just about everyone seems to think is desirable - equality of opportunity.

Tinkerbell

Really? Giuliani in the new Borat film was more entertaining...very niiice

10
up

Really? NY Post ? !! It's just a Murdoch tabloid.

David the day you go back to being a bonafide journalist is the day I'll send money to this website.

You've made no effort to address the subject matter. If you disagree with the article, where and why?

If NY Post is tosh, why were the Hunter Biden articles (which aren't disputed) taken off Twitter? Its just a Murdoch tabloid after all, right?

To be honest there is not much subject matter in that article to address.. Giuliani apparently has evidence that he can't show yet for some reason.. A bit like that briefcase of evidence that can't be shown as it was um.. lost.. So far the courts have thrown all their complaints about the election out very fast, due to a complete lack of evidence.

Looks to me like Trump is unashamedly throwing around made up stories in order to extract as much money from his supporters as he can before he leaves office. Maybe also to try and solidify support behind him for a run at 2024 election?

Trump and Giuliani know, the only trial that will hold up and support them is "trial by media". They're making zero headway in the courts where it matters. Reading the likes of the NY Post with a "Mixed" rating (https://mediabiasfactcheck.com/new-york-post/) every day is to your mind, what eating McDonald's every day is to your body.

Yeah if I want to hack an election I go to the NY Times on how to do it.
https://www.nytimes.com/video/opinion/100000005790489/i-hacked-an-electi...

Will see if I regret this but sold a chunk of BTC at 17,853. Too much too fast I think....

I'm on the opposite tack Wolf (taking a header) - I see it $30k by early 2021

upvote for the both of you; no body knows, right? But in this crazy world you either play the game or just comment online all day about how much of a mess we're in (that's me)

No body knows right? = ie its not based on anything ... just gambling & FOMO
all you need is a greater set of fools
Roll in the institutional investors desperate for some returns

Very true. The same as every investment class in the world right now. Just remember though, at 17.5K bitcoin has been profitable for every single day of purchase except 4 for it's entire history. And each halving (we've had 4) it's followed the exact same logarithmic pattern and followed the golden ratio in many of it's fundamentals.

"it's followed the exact same logarithmic pattern and followed the golden ratio in many of it's fundamentals" - ah yes, hocus pocus! Based on this logic, Bitcoin will keep increasing forever, to infinity, at an ever accelerating pace. Sounds a bit too magical for me.

https://www.bitcoinblockhalf.com/'
Look a the very simple charts on that link friend :) and have a think...

Yep - Hocus Pocus just like all the other tech everyone's life relies on. Internet magic money. It'll never take off just like the internet back in 1996. Make no mistake, Bitcoin is technology first. Look at it through that lens, and once you understand the fundamentals you understand the opportunity.

All assets are going to infinite in fiat price, provided that money is continually printed.

"at 17.5K bitcoin has been profitable for every single day of purchase except 4 for it's entire history..."

either very impressive
Or a very big warning that its Tulip mania

That's nothing, Auckland property is the same but its been profitable vs EVERY day in history!

XRP doing not bad over last few days also.

Hasnt even started yet. No media attention, no hype, no new retail investors FOMOing in yet. Just constant upward pressure. Fingers crossed for a dip but its not looking good.
So much bullish news in the last year, its all just building up. US Banks can custody Bitcoin and institutional investors are wanting to get in. Greyscale brought $300m alone a few weeks ago. And paypal will legally have to custody all BTC provided on their platform, so that has the potential to cause a sell side liquidity problem. Where are they going to get it all from??
Anyway, its going to be a fun ride :)

How long will Debt Bull Market continue....

Can RBNZ ever afford to increade interest rate or printing of money ?

Now we will have seasons of stimulus like season 1, season 2...........

RE lobbyist / So called experts with vested interest are worried that JA under pressure may be forced to take some action to stop the housing ponzi so comming out with statement to prevent her from acting.

RE machinery at work as heat is on to act to stop multiplying of house price in weeks....

https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/politics/2020/11/house-prices-to-double-i...

Where's the journalism? How can anyone just spout this rubbish without a counter argument (or just facts!).

NZ doesn't much do journalism, sadly.

Except here. Keep up the good work David, Jenee & co!

To be fair Ashley’s predictions have probably been more correct than anyone else’s unfortunately.

That's also a market cap all time high in bitcoin.

Zero media coverage of this run it seems. Markedly different to 2017. This feels more like late 2016.

Buckle up for the ride. Hodl on, comrades.

12
up

Government is printing $100b to give to banks and property owners to increase value of houses. They could take half of that money and fix all the water issues around the country in every major population centre.

Nah, let's just make the rich richer instead. Remember this all the idiots that voted for hopeless policy and hapless populists.

... and ultimately we will have to up accommodation supplements so that the slumlorders dont have to face the reality of the free market & tenants who couldnt afford their rents

Capitalism is well dead

Funny how one of the most restricted and subsidised market in NZ, housing, is doing so badly in terms of supply, affordability, etc. People who are anti capitalism really should look at how bad the alternatives are. Having the government interfere in a market is never good (except for maybe breaking up monopolies)

At least they will be forced to open up their wallets (let some moths out) and pay for these rates increases. However cannot see it passing. Somehow they will kick the can down the road.

very true
the can will be kicked for sure

Gotta pay for all those cycleways somehow!

It’s a good tactic though. Start off at 22% and then you look good when you “only” increase at 12%

But frazz, if you pay 4k a year in rates, a 25% increase means another 1k! That's nearly $20 a week! Oh the humanity - imagine having to find an extra $20 to cover your accommodation costs.
Oh wait, I don't have to imagine it - I rent, so this (and more) happens to me every 6 months/year. And I didn't make 100k tax free on an asset either.