Here's my summary of the key issues from overnight that affect New Zealand, with news of important 'progress' in TPPA negotiations.
A key hurdle in the Trans Pacific Partnership seems to have been overcome with Japan saying they have resolved their difficulties with the US over the treaty.
China's central bank cut the amount of cash that banks must hold as reserves yesterday, the second cut in two months, adding more liquidity to the world's second-biggest economy to help spur bank lending to combat slowing growth. The move has raised eyebrows worldwide with more analysts wondering if China's economy is in worse shape that thought.
Update: China is considering a ban on all advertising for infant formula in a bid to increase breast-feeding rates.
Overnight the Greek government has ordered its public sector bodies to hand over any reserve cash to help it meet a payment due to the IMF due at the end of the week. Orders to private sector bodies may not be far behind. And there are reports Athens is exploring ways to restructure its debt, a move that underscores how close the country is to defaulting. But officials in the ECB no longer fear 'contagion' in the way they did just a few weeks ago.
In the UK, both HSBC and Standard Chartered are looking at quitting London for a new home in Asia because of a big jump in a new tax on UK banks that makes staying in Britain increasingly costly compared with other jurisdictions.
Reserve Bank of Australia governor Glenn Stevens has raised the prospect of another official interest rate cut as early as May 5. He has also talked about being trapped between the need to quell fast-rising house prices especially in Sydney, and the need to support the 'real economy'. And if that rate cut does come, it will likely push the AUD down and the NZD above mid-rate parity. After Stevens speech, the markets started to move.
The UST 10yr benchmark yield is basically unchanged today at 1.88%. New Zealand swap rates rose overnight to their highest level in three weeks although they are still well below the levels we saw at the beginning of the year.
The US oil price has remains at about US$56/barrel, while Brent crude held at US$66/barrel in trading earlier today. The US and international rig counts are still falling.
The gold price fell about US$10/oz and now trades at US$1,193/oz.
The New Zealand dollar starts today at 76.5 US¢, at 99.1 AU¢, and 71.3 euro cents. The TWI is still very high at 81.5 and not that far from its record post-float high of 81.93 which was reached in July 2014.
If you want to catch up with all the local changes yesterday, we have an update here.
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