Here's my summary of the key events overnight that affect New Zealand, with news the Kiwi dollar is rising despite what the RBNZ would like to see.
But first, according to a Federal Reserve report released today, Americans lost nearly US$1.2 trillion in wealth in the third quarter as their shaky stock market contributed to one of the largest declines in household net worth since the economic recovery began.
In China, a tax break has seen new car sales there surge in November. Monthly sales rose to 2.2 mln, up +24% year-on-year in November, the largest monthly increase in nearly two years. The growth was largely due to the government cutting the 10% per cent purchase tax in half on small cars.
China's lower growth track and economic transition will pose particularly significant risks for the shipping industry, especially dry bulk and container shipping. The rise of airfreight driven by online shopping isn't helping either. These risks have seen ratings agency Fitch put the whole sector on a negative outlook. Container shipping is suffering from a surge in capacity; it rose +9% in 2015 and will rise another +6% next year, they say, far outpacing expected demand growth of more than +3% in 2016.
The Australian competition watchdog has launched legal action against supermarket giant Woolworths for unconscionable conduct over its dealings with suppliers. The accusation is they used stand-over tactics to wring payments from suppliers to make up for a profit shortfall in their business. The ACCC has taken similar action against rival Coles, and they say the Woolworths action is shameless because it went after suppliers with arbitrary demands while the legal case with Coles was in the courts and in the media spotlight. Woolworths operates the Countdown chain in New Zealand. New Zealand's competition regulator turned a blind eye to similar complaints against Countdown here.
In New York, the UST 10yr yield benchmark rose marginally today and is now at 2.22%.
The US benchmark oil price is down yet again, now just under US$37/barrel, while the Brent benchmark is now under US$40/barrel.
The gold price slipped as well, now at US$1,072/oz.
The New Zealand dollar has not responded in the way the RBNZ would have wanted. Following the OCR cut, done in large part to get the dollar down, it rose in trading yesterday, and kept its upward bias overnight. It is now at 67.6 US¢, at 92.7 AU¢ and at 61.8 euro cents. The TWI-5 is now at 72.6 and its highest in six weeks.
If you want to catch up with all the local changes on yesterday, we have an update here.