90 seconds at 9 am with BNZ: US stocks firm on solid jobs data; European banks fall on Greek writedowns; US petrol prices high; Ports of Auckland strike starts

90 seconds at 9 am with BNZ: US stocks firm on solid jobs data; European banks fall on Greek writedowns; US petrol prices high; Ports of Auckland strike starts

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.

We welcome your help to improve our coverage of this issue. Any examples or experiences to relate? Any links to other news, data or research to shed more light on this? Any insight or views on what might happen next or what should happen next? Any errors to correct?

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Any body noticed how it is only the importers who are complaining about the Auckland port strike.  Apart from some milk products ex the Waikato is anything exported from Auckland?  How much does Auckland contribute to the nations exports?

Our company exports one/two 40ft containers per week out of Auckland via Mainfreight who have been fantastic at making arrangements to cover.Its been almost seamless.
This is probably one reason there arent many complaints.

Not many Aucklanders will comment, it actually is low per head of population. Auckland is a consumption economy.

It looks like you may be right.  I half expected to be torn to shreads.  Makes you wonder what all John Banks's BS is about "the power house of NZ" and why the country is throwing so much money into a city that contributes so little.  Beautiful city though.

Ports of akl like the Euro on the slippery pole, meanwhile Kim Dotcom heading home to mom and the kids, Allan Crafar fights on regardless, better than coro st.

Speaking of oil, I see that Air NZ is cutting jobs after declining profit on the back of increasing oil prices and falling demand.

Well Quantas cut the north America route from Akl to zero, flying out of san Fran in a near empty 747, I think passenger numbers are well down. The Asian carriers are kicking ass on the European flights. Whats left for air NZ? Personaly im sick of the marketing bull, I got a special offer in the email to Aussie, $149 each way booked return tickets, came to $997 each. Im not going to pay that much and they need to just give me a price and cut the bull with limited seats etc. The CEO timed his departure well.

I agree his timing is good. Especially the last six months the planes have empted out on the US flights I have been on. They have a lot of people not impresses with their  new product range in premium economy and economy on the new planes...and timing of service.

It would cost $852 quadrillion dollars to build a real Death Star
 It means Emperor Palpatine and Darth Vader were rolling in the money like filthy rich rappers. I guess ruling the Galactic Empire isn't so terrible when you're ballin'.

HULLO .Is andrew little home or has he gone into hibernation at the request of mr shearer.
We need your opinion mr little on the port strike.
plaese contact us a.s.a.p.
signed public of nz

Lombard directors, including Doug Graham, found guilty on four of five charges - http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=1078...

Auckland port 'workers' :

I work for a company which exports equipment to the rest of the world.  We work hard for a fair wage and bring real money into NZ economy, not more debt like the average kiwi.  This strike is now affecting our business.  The quicker we get rid of these greedy idiots at the port and replace them with real workers the better. 
My experience with unions based on doing my apprenticeship in a paper mill which was heavily unionised is that they are there to protect people from having to do a fair days work for a fair days pay, if they were good at their job they wouldn’t need a union.  They represent the second most lazy and useless people in our society, one up from the benefit bluggers as far as I am concerned.
Sorry if it sounds harsh but I spent 4 years fighting these types of people trying to learn a trade while they were telling me to slow down because I was making them look bad. I have no sympathy for them.

"Mummeeeee....who are the people in the pig trough?"
"Taxpayers' $1.6m for talent show" herald.

This must be a sign of the "recovery" all the spin doctors are being paid to blather on about...!
"Air New Zealand will not be parking its planes or dropping any markets as the listed airline looks to adjust capacity and boost profitability, says chief executive Rob Fyfe."
"The airline is planning to cut 441 jobs before the end of the financial year "

This is standard business behaviour at the moment, its designed to improve what is called efficiency but the defitition of that word is not according to the english dictionary,
Basically if you can make fewer people do the same work then you make more money for your   share holders. If there were still a heap of unions around there might be a big fight back already underway, but since there is not a lot of defence I think this is going to collapse when the voting public demand fight back through the political system and the politicians are actually forced to respond to this.
The behaviour is not very different in the public sector either.

Just had a gork at a Herald spiff on chch and how a bonanza of building is soon to start....oh yeah that's what we need like a new cone in Auckland....let's hope somebody in the Beehive has a brain and realises the benefit of a planned rebuild.
A planned control that allowed a rebuild to proceed if and when the local labour was on hand...
Yes it's a stupid thought...bashing up against the greed for fatter profits and bloated gst revenue...best you all sit back and watch the chaos develop...as that builder who discovered the EQC was a farce in an office...most of the rebuild work will prove to be shoddy and useless.
Then when it's all over and Shearer is getting the pat on the back....who will employ the workers what did the rebuilding?....

Has somebody woken up NZ MAF border protection!!!!!
Awful news for Pommy farmers for sure but what will this mean for sheep farmers in NZ....and what if the disease spreads across the northern hemisphere????
"On the Continent, some farms have lost half of their lambs. So far the worst hit in Britain have lost 20 per cent, according to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).
Approximately 16 million lambs are born in Britain every year and sell at market for about £100 each. The effect of the disease on farms that are already struggling in the downturn could be severe.
“For any business to lose 20 per cent of your stock would be a huge blow,” said Mr Mackintosh. “For a farmer to lose 20 per cent of your flock is catastrophic. If it was 50 per cent you would be put out of action.
“I was talking to one who has 10,000 sheep. If he loses even five per cent of the animals born this year, that’s a hell of a lot of lambs. I know another who says 10 per cent of his ewes have become barren. He has 6,000 ewes, so that is 600 animals producing nothing.”
Wolly wants to know why NZ MAF are silent on this matter.??????

It was always a case of when, not if, Wally. The trend to monocultures gives you very little resilience, one gets it all get it.  When the flock is more diverse, the most suceptible get it, don't reproduce, and the more resilient strain go on.
Pinus Radiata is in the same boat, globally corn, soy, wheat and rice are heading in that direction, as are pork and chicken.
But, in case you thought that's all, the whole creaking edifice which supplies our out-of season just-in-time supermarketry, is based wholly on oil. That includes the shifting of bulk beehives from monoculture to monoculture, glad-wrapped on semi-trailers across the USA.

Had a gork at the comments...found this one:

33 minutes ago


"So what? New Zealand lamb is much cheaper and just as good"