Here are the key things you need to know before you leave work today.
MORTGAGE RATE CHANGES
HSBC ended all its special low rates, adding substantial increases and taking its offers more in line with the major banks.
TERM DEPOSIT RATE CHANGES
TSB and SBS Bank both announced higher term deposit rates late last night. And today, HSBC did the same, bringing its rates into a more competitive alignment with most other New Zealand banks.
NO MUCKING AROUND
The trans-Tasman travel bubble has been suspended for 'at least' two months, making it look like it will be October before it returns. New Zealanders in Australia have a week to return home.
REASONABLE WATER SITUATION
Our hydro storage lakes are filling fast and are now 30% fuller than the long term average for this time of year. Overall inflows have been unusually strong in June and July, in fact now at November levels already. But Auckland's water storage lakes are only 57% full whereas the normal for this time of year is 82%.
The growth streak for the Australian private sector ended in July according to Flash PMI® data which showed business activity now in contraction. Survey respondents signaled that renewed pandemic restrictions affected demand and output countrywide.
A FEW PESKY MISTAKES
Large Aussie insurer IAG, which has a dominant position in the New Zealand general insurance market, has reported a -AU$427 mln loss for the year to June, 2021 compared with a AU$435 mln profit in the same period in 2020.Much of this reversal is due to a AU$1.15 bln provision for paying business interruption claims it thought it had avoided in the pandemic but for which the courts have said it is liable. Other class action, compliance and refund provisioning takes those one-time costs up to AU$1.5 bln or AU$1.0 bln after tax. They claim the rest of their business is performing well; just a few pesky mistakes caught it out. Ahem ... (IAG NZ would have been part of the FMA's NZ conduct and culture review released yesterday, where only two of 42 insurers passed. But because the companies reviewed weren't named or shamed, it is hard to know where IAG NZ stands on that.)
THE PRESSURE INTENSIFIES
There were 136 new community cases in NSW today, and another 14 in the community in Victoria where their lockdown is in extension with the border closed to NSW. South Australia is also in lockdown. Queensland has closed it border with NSW, which is a last-resort action for them. There were new cases in New Zealand, all caught at the border (mostly among ship crews), none in the community.
Compared to where we were this time on yesterday, the gold price is up +US$4/oz to US$1804/oz in early Asian trading.
The NZX50 Capital Index is flat near the end of its Friday session. For the week it is heading for a tiny +0.3% gain. The ASX200 is up +0.1% in early afternoon trade and heading for a weekly rise of +0.6%. Tokyo is closed again as part of its Olympic preparations (Sports Day). Hong Kong has opened down -0.7%. Shanghai is down -0.3% in early trade. Earlier, the S&P500 ended its session up +0.2% and closer to its record high.
SWAP & BONDS RATES LOWER
We don't have today's closing swap rates yet and if there are significant ongoing changes we will note them here. They probably flattened again. The 90 day bank bill rate up + bp at 0.46%. The Australian Govt ten year benchmark rate is unchanged so far at just on 1.20%. The China Govt ten year bond is down -1 bp at 2.94%. The New Zealand Govt ten year is actually down -3 bps at 1.52% and now the same as the earlier RBNZ fix of 1.52% (-8 bps). The US Govt ten year is down a minor -1 bp to 1.28%.
NZ DOLLAR FIRMER
The Kiwi dollar has made a further comeback today to now be just on 69.8 USc. Against the Aussie we are unchanged at 94.5 AUc. Against the euro we are firmer at 59.2 euro cents. So the TWI-5 has risen to just on 72.8.
BITCOIN UP AGAIN
The bitcoin price is now at US$32,670 and up almost +2.0% from this time yesterday. Volatility in the past 24 hours has been low at +/- 1.6%.
This soil moisture chart is animated here.
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