90 seconds at 9 am with BNZ: China eases monetary policy as Chinese house prices fall; China confident of 'no hard landing'; Another Greek deadline; Iranian oil embargo

Here's my summary of the key news overnight in 90 seconds at 9 am in association with Bank of New Zealand, including news China eased monetary policy over the weekend as it tries to boost its economy after a slowdown in its housing market and a softening of exports to Europe.

China cut its reserve requirement ratio for bank lending by 0.5% to 20%, which means banks will be able to lend an extra US$60 billion more against the capital they hold. See more here at Bloomberg.

This follows news that house prices fell in January from a year ago in 47 of China's 70 biggest cities. There were no price rises, raising fears that real estate development may slow sharply. See more here at Bloomberg.

China's economic outlook and its demand for raw materials such as iron ore and coal used in construction is crucial for Australia, our largest trading partner, and for New Zealand itself. China is our second largest trading partner after Australia.

Vice President Xi Jingping, who is expected to become China's premier later this year, has however said he is confident China can avoid a hard landing as it tries to slow its economy down to avoid inflation. But his own Trade Ministry has warned of a 'grim' outlook for exports as Europe's economy slows down.

Meanwhile, European leaders will meet tonight to approve a Greek bailout plan.

It must be agreed or Greece will default on bond payments due on March 20.

Elsewhere, Iran has blocked oil exports to France and Britain in relaliation for their anti-nuclear sanctions. Oil prices rose US$1 a barrel.


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Interresting to note coal in Fig2, given the comments re China. Oil has clearly peaked, and coal is set to overtake it as the major source of energy. Coal peaks around 2027, but what I wonder, is how many of the spinners round here think it's a forward step, or a maintainable one?
Seems to me we don't have Concorde any more, don't have Space Shuttles, and we're heading back down the ladder to coal. Plot the graph.

In 2014 people say: Do you remember, when they raced  around an oval - lap after lap 500 of it – and 250'000 watched - and another 50 millions on TV - how stupid !
You only have to watch 3 min guys:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qsW65-tcUyI&feature=related

Very interesting piece on the gathering influence of the anti-science lobby:

Iran and China continue to make the USD less and less relevent as a reserve currency.  While the US and Europe continue shooting themselves in the foot.  Just let Iran have nuclear power, it would be cheaper fo the UN to fund the power stations, and run them.  That way they could monitor the "precious" plutonium.  This could be solved easily using diplomacy.  The only reason for the three aircraft carriers, and the sanctions, and drone attacks and spying, seems to be to get a war.  Like kids at school jostling each other, and getting egged on by their mates until one lashes out.  Seeing as we learn this at school, it's no surprise most people find it acceptable. 

Rod Petricevic...."I did not have sex with that woman"