Here are the key things you need to know before you leave work today.
MORTGAGE RATE CHANGES
HSBC have raised their one year and 18 month fixed rates, from 1.99% to 2.25%. (That only leaves Heartland Bank as the only bank with a rate below 2% now.)
TERM DEPOSIT RATE CHANGES
None here today.
TRANS-TASMAN BUBBLE TO START
Quarantine-free travel between New Zealand and Australia to begin on April 19.
Barfoot & Thompson's auction rooms were busy last week but the sales rate declined for the third week in a row, with an overall sales rate of just 53% in the week before Easter.
RETAIL DEMAND STRONG, BUT ...
Retail NZ reported a strong March quarter of trading. They also reported that their members expect to raise prices aggressively in Q2. “There are significant inflationary pressures building, as the cost of procurement and freight increase, and the cost of employing staff goes up," they say. Around two-thirds of their members expect to see prices increase over the next quarter, which they will pass on.
WHERE THE JOBS ARE
The number of job ads jumped +7.4% in March from February in Australia, and those February levels were revised higher. (Year-on-year they are up +40%.) This data is now highest level in more than twelve years (since before the GFC) and is pointing to further sharp declines in the Australian unemployment rate.
After dipping worryingly in February, the private Caixin services PMI for China improved in march with a solid rise. Even so, it is not a vigorous expansion and lower than what we are seeing elsewhere. And unlike elsewhere, this report isn't highlighting cost increases.
Gold is trading in Australia, and soon in Asian markets. After falling yesterday in US markets, it is back rising today, up +US$9 from the earlier closing New York price and up +US$25 from where we left it on Thursday. It is currently trading at US$1735/oz.
The S&P500 ended the Wall Street session earlier today up +1.4%. In Tokyo, they have opened today down -0.6% while Hong Kong is still closed for Easter. Shanghai has re-opened and is down -0.3% in very early trade. Meanwhile the ASX200 is up +1.1% in early afternoon trade, but the NZX50 Capital Index is down -0.5% in late trade.
SWAPS & BONDS YIELDS SLIP
We don't have today's closing swap rates yet. If there are significant movements today, we will note them here later when we get the data. They are probably unchanged. The 90 day bank bill rate is up +1 bp at 0.35%. The Australian Govt ten year benchmark rate is down -3 bps from this morning at 1.74%. The China Govt ten year bond is holding at 3.23%. And the New Zealand Govt ten year is down -2 bps at 1.81% and at the level of the earlier RBNZ fixing at 1.81% (unchanged). The US Govt ten year has fallen to 1.68%, and -4 bps from where we opened this morning.
NZD A LITTLE FIRMER
The Kiwi dollar is holding at the higher level we opened at today, now at 70.5 USc and almost +1c above where we left it on Thursday. On the cross rates we are a little firmer at 92.3 AUc. Against the euro we up at 59.7 euro cents. That all means our TWI-5 is up at almost 73.1.
Bitcoin is marginally lower from where we opened this morning, now at US$58,956. Volatility over the past 24 hours has been moderate at +/- 2.3%.
This soil moisture chart is animated here.
The easiest place to stay up with event risk today is by following our Economic Calendar here ».