Here's my summary of the key news overnight in 90 seconds at 9 am in association with Bank of New Zealand, including news US stocks rose slightly overnight, but are failing to kick on through recent highs.
US jobless claims last week were solid around four year lows, suggesting a slow recovery in the US jobs market, Reuters reported.
But investors are cautious about the market's ability to push on from its highs. US stocks are up 20% from their October 2011 lows and have risen 8% so far this year to their highest levels since May 2008. See more here at Reuters.
But some are nervous about how US consumers are handling an 8.8% rise in gas (petrol) prices to around US$3.65/gallon this year. See more at Reuters on the effects of rising 'gas' prices on US consumers.
That US petrol prices works out at around NZ$1.16/litre, although New Zealand's retail petrol price is around NZ$2.10/litre, including 88 cents of taxes. New Zealand petrol prices have been remarkably stable this year despite an 8% rise in oil prices in US$ terms this month. That's because the New Zealand dollar has risen. See our petrol and oil price charts here. (Click on the petrol taxes tab to see the tax component).
Meanwhile, European stocks fell around 0.4% after more weak economic data and profit slumps from Credit Agricole and Royal Bank of Scotland, partly because of Greek bond writedowns. See more here at Reuters.
Closer to home, workers at Ports of Auckland have announced a three week strike to try to stop the port from contracting out its workforce, NZ Herald reported.
Port of Tauranga, where all its stevedoring and on-wharf marshalling is contracted out, yesterday reported a 22% rise in profits to a record high, which prompted a rise in its share price to a record high NZ$11.
The New Zealand dollar was broadly steady overnight above 83 USc.