Bernard Hickey details the key news overnight in 90 seconds at 9 am in association with Bank of New Zealand, including news the government has set up a NZ$15 million wages fund for small businesses in Canterbury who have been hit by the quake.
Small businesses without insurance can apply for up to NZ$350 per week per employee for up to 20 employees. The scheme lasts for four weeks. See more detail here.
Meanwhile, the Dow fell 107 points overnight as fears about Europe's financial crisis re-emerged. The reduction in global risk appetites helped push the New Zealand dollar lower too.
The WSJ reported concerns that the European bank stress tests were not as stressful as many had first thought and PIMCO's, the world's biggest bond fund manager, said it believed Greece would default on its government debt.
In Australia, Labor Prime Minister Julia Gillard has clung to power with the support of two independent MPS.
The Australian dollar immediately fell 0.8 USc to 91.1 USc on fears of renewed uncertainty, given the fragility of Gillard's coalition and the potential for another election soon.
The Australian stock market fell immediately on fears the Greens, who are now in the governing coalition, might push for a tougher mining tax.
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