Here are the key things you need to know before you leave work today.
MORTGAGE RATE CHANGES
Kiwibank has trimmed its two year fixed rate to 2.55%, but raised its three and five year fixed rates. TSB has matched the ANZ 2.45% 18 month fixed rate.
TERM DEPOSIT RATE CHANGES
No changes to report today.
IT'S ALL ON THE HOUSE, AGAIN
David Hargreaves looks at the all-night mortgage borrowing bender Kiwis are going on while lending to 'productive' parts of the economy withers.
BIG BANK CHANGE
Westpac NZ CEO David McLean is retiring in June with bank executive and ex-politician Simon Power to serve as acting CEO as a search for a permanent successor takes place.
ONLINE EFTPOS NOW AVAILABLE
Paymark (now owned by Worldline/Ingenico, a Paris based MNC) has signed up BNZ as its first big bank to offer on-line EFTPOS to its customers. EFTPOS avoids Visa or Mastercard and their fees, so can be delivered cheaper.
WHAT ABOUT IMMIGRATION?
The Government has asked the Productivity Commission to undertake a wide-ranging review of current immigration settings.
BARBARIANS AT THE PETFOOD GATE
Christchurch-based Natural Pet Food Group (NPFG) has been bought by private equity funds, KKR. NPFG is a marketing distributor rather than a manufacturer, and KKR want it to build out its product range in international markets.
Asking prices on Realestate.co.nz's portal declined by $18,340 (2.1%) in April suggesting a cooling housing market nationwide with new listings similar to 2019. The weeks of available inventory of houses for sale has declined to just 8 weeks now, down from 10 weeks at the end of March.
Treasury has announced a May Government bond tender set to raise $1.3 bln in four events. That compares with the April tender program that raised $1.65 bln in five events. The better-than-expected Crown accounts mean less new funding is now needed. And recall, back in December 2020 they were raising $1.9 bln per month. The new lower overall supply is likely to keep bidding strong and therefore keep yields depressed.
THE POOR PAY (SLIGHTLY) MORE
Statistics NZ released is Q1 inflation data by household groups to see how each is being impacted by price rises. Overall, CPI rose +0.7% in the year to March. But for beneficiaries it was up +1.7%, for Māori it rose +1.1%, for retired people by +1.2%. Those spending the most in their household got only a +0.4% rise while the lowest-expenditure household group saw prices rise +1.2% in the year.
BINGEING ON NEW CARS AGAIN
Year on year changes to new car sales mean nothing this month given that April 2020 was a full lockdown month. But sales in April were good for an April month, being +30.2% higher than the comparative month in 2019. Sales of new commercial vehicles (dominated by tradie utes) was up +26% on that same two-year-ago basis.
The gold price is rising today. It is now at US$1773/oz and up +US$5 from this time Friday as trading opens in Australia and Asia.
Hong Kong and Shanghai markets are closed todat for their Labour Day holidays. Tokyo has opened however as is down a rather sharp -1.5% in late morning trade. The ASX200 is flat in early afternoon trade, and the NZX50 Capital Index is also flat near the end of today's trading. The S&P500 futures is recording a small +0.3% rise.
SWAPS & BONDS MIXED
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 0.36%. The Australian Govt ten year benchmark rate is unchanged at 1.70%. The China Govt ten year bond is down -2 bps at 3.19%. And the New Zealand Govt ten year is up +3 bps at 1.69% and well above the level of the earlier RBNZ fixing at 1.65% (+3 bps). The US Govt ten year is down -2 bps at 1.63%.
NZ DOLLAR STABLE
The Kiwi dollar is now at 71.7 USc and little-changed from this morning. Against the Aussie we are also little-changed at 92.9 AUc. Against the euro we are stable at 59.7 euro cents. That means the TWI-5 is now at 73.7.
The bitcoin price is now at US$58,069 and that is up +2.1% from where we opened this morning. Most of the rise today has happened since lunchtime. In the past 24 hours, volatility has been moderate +/- 1.9%.
This soil moisture chart is animated here.
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