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A review of things you need to know before you go home on Monday; service sector expanding again, Auckland auction activity slows sharply, bitcoin recovers partly, swaps and NZD unchanged, & more

A review of things you need to know before you go home on Monday; service sector expanding again, Auckland auction activity slows sharply, bitcoin recovers partly, swaps and NZD unchanged, & more

Here are the key things you need to know before you leave work today.

MORTGAGE RATE CHANGES
There were no changes today.

TERM DEPOSIT RATE CHANGES
None here either.

SEASONAL SLOWDOWN
The overall sales rate at major Auckland realtor Barfoot & Thompson's auctions has declined for five weeks in a row. It is now below 50%.

UNEVEN SERVICE
Services sector activity expanded in March for the first time in five months, even if the improvement was only to a modest level. However it was still contracting in the north of the North Island, and the south of the South Island. Wellington was where the main expansion was occurring. New order levels were strong, which is encouraging.

CHECKING WELLBEING PROCRESS
Stats NZ has launched a wellbeing time series explorer that allows people to compare selected wellbeing data from the 2014, 2016, and 2018 general social surveys (GSS). It can be used to produce data tables and graphs to show GSS results for different demographic groups in New Zealand, as well as changes in wellbeing over time. The tool is also mobile friendly. Unfortunately (or fortunately, for the Government) the data does not include any current elements to monitor current progress.

LOOK, NOTHING TO SEE HERE. EVERYONE IS HAPPY
We received this invitation by email: "On 30 April, the Chinese Embassy in NZ, together with the Government of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region (XUAR), will co-host an online conference and open discussion on Xinjiang. During the conference, the leader of the XUAR government and representatives of the local people will show the real situation of Xinjiang and share their stories, followed by a Q&A session. We hope this will provide a good opportunity for the NZ public to see and understand Xinjiang through their own eyes and ears." See this. And this. And this. And closer to home, this.

GOLD FLAT
The gold price is now trading in Australia, soon in Asia. It is up a marginal +US1 at US$1,778/oz from where it closed in New York at the end of last week.

EQUITIES SHOW MODEST GAINS
The NZX50 Capital Index is a marginal +0.2% higher today in late trade. The ASX200 is up a similar soft +0.2% in early afternoon trade. In Shanghai, they have opened up a strong +1.2%. Hong Kong has opened up strongly too with an early +1.0% gain. The very large Tokyo market has however opened much more modestly at +0.2%. The S&P500 futures index suggests Wall Street will open down modestly. Locally, Skellerup Holdings (SKL) has upgraded its earnings guidance. Smartpay (SPY) is also reporting better revenues, especially in Australia.

SWAPS & BONDS LITTLE-CHANGED
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 little-changed. The 90 day bank bill rate is unchanged at 0.34%. The Australian Govt ten year benchmark rate is down -2 bps from this morning at 1.68%. The China Govt ten year bond is unchanged at 3.18%. And the New Zealand Govt ten year is unchanged at 1.64% and at the level of the earlier RBNZ fixing at 1.64% (also unchanged). The US Govt ten year has has fallen -2 bps to 1.57%.

NZ DOLLAR SLIGHTLY LOWER AGAINST GREENBACK
The Kiwi dollar is back where it started today at 71.4 USc after a period lower. Against the Aussie we are little-chnaged at 92.4 AUc, against the euro at 59.7 euro cents. That means the TWI-5 is still at 73.4.

BITCOIN VOLATILITY EXTREME
The bitcoin price is now US$57,102 and +9.4% abover the US$52,149 it sank to earlier today. But it is still down -3.5% lower than 24 hours ago. Online reports attributed the plunge to speculation the US Treasury may crack down on money laundering that’s carried out through digital assets like bitcoin. Volatility is still extreme at +/- 6.7% over the past day.

This soil moisture chart is animated here.

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End of day UTC
Source: CoinDesk

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26 Comments

Uyghurs living in Australia turn up on hacked Chinese police blacklist 'People in glass houses shouldn't throw stones'" Australia Buries Afghan War Crimes, Toes U.S. Hostile Line on China

Good grief, you have posted a link to a Russian disinformation project! Surely you have a better source than someone else's propaganda effort. The Chinese link I gave is much more balanced!

You been following what's going on with McBride and the Afghanistan war crimes cover-ups David?

You redirected my original link to an error page and I hardly have any faith in Wikipedia

"Strategic Culture Foundation" has to be the most propaganda-rey title for a 'news' site ever. I mean, what does it even mean? nice. It's like a random name machine generated it to sound somewhat official. The International Federation for Important Sounding Foundation Names.

Read the content of the article and critique it: https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2021/04/15/australia-buries-afgha...

I find myself doing that all the time in response to incorrect claims posted on this website. I correct them with published incontrovertible evidence.

If you are not impressed a Chinese human rights organisation has come up with a comprehensive dossier of global atrocities allegedly committed by the US in need of censorship too, if you are inclined. You could investigate the veracity of them as well.

It's a valid point, but it doesn't make what China is doing 'right'.
But it does raise the question of equitable responses.

None of it's right. But it does not warrant a potential holocaust based on denial to right it.

Why would we want a world without Russia?’ Putin on Moscow’s nuclear doctrine

And yet:

The Friday statement also said, "The United States restated its unwavering support for Japan’s defense under the U.S.-Japan Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security, using its full range of capabilities, including nuclear." Link

One of my hobbies is making electronic music. That could be a good artist name

Consider a name that spells UNST.
You're welcome.

As someone pointed out this morning, approx $10b in leveraged long positions in crypto were liquidated over the weekend. 70% of those liquidations were in the top 4 cryptocurrencies by market cap. That to me is interesting as it suggests that many are punting on the the network effects of the more widely help coins with a short-term strategy.

https://cryptoslate.com/1-million-crypto-traders-see-nearly-10-billion-i...

What! We can't have money laundering banned from bitcoin. How dare they!

But we will turn a blind eye to money laundering in fiat currency if it's in our interests. HSBC of course is right amongst it. Closer to home, Commonwealth and Westpac. But we can't be too harsh on them. They're our property bubble sponsors after all.

And just about every other bank. SkyCity funnels money to them.

And just about every other bank. SkyCity funnels money to them.

That's a big call without evidence, but it wouldn't surprise me if you're right.

If people want to launder money on publicly viewable, immutable blockchains - so be it.

Better to use cash, gold or HSBC.. less chance of laundering being caught. Good Luck.

NZ government increases it store of bond issuance and tax proceeds sitting idle on the RBNZ's balance sheet to $42.044bn.

Faafoi has somewhat piqued my interest today with this little sound bite:

"We will be looking at further adjustments in the weeks and months ahead, including work on immigration policy reforms.”

Immigration policy reforms – hello, whatever next?

Anyway – holding of breathe probably not to be recommended – we’ll see what happens – it just better be good that’s all.

https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/covid-19-coronavirus-hundreds-of-families-...

Immigration policy reforms! Wow. For the last 20 years whenever things get sticky INZ responds by downing tools. About 15 years ago it was Winston Peters asking parliamentary questions about Iraqi friends of Saddam Hussein getting residency - delayed my family's permanent residency by at least 3 months (my family being Pacifica not Iraqi). Same story now with Covid-19 as an excuse to stop work and delay processing visas for families.

But that could mean anything. Reforms could include increasing the intake!!!

https://www.nzherald.co.nz/rotorua-daily-post/news/rotorua-house-prices-...

Still Jacinda Arden is waiting for response from Mr Orr and still Mr Orr is wait and watch before thinking if DTI and Interest Only Loan.

What a farce.

"Online reports attributed the plunge to speculation the US Treasury may crack down on money laundering that’s carried out through digital assets like bitcoin."

That is simply speculation that can be attributed to online reports. Better to tune in to what on-chain analysts are saying.

On-chain analysts do not have special insights into how the Treasury formulates policy. That's not what they do.

You missed my point. The price movement likely had nothing to do with speculation about what Treasury may or may not do.

Yes the money laundering thing was a smokescreen for the Whales doing a clearing operation on the highly leveraged Long Holders, most of whom are recent investors finding somewhere to put their free Govt handouts.