Here's my summary of the key events over the weekend that affect New Zealand, with news most equity markets made a recovery at the end of trading last week.
Wall Street ended higher, up +2% and that capped rises of similar levels in most other markets. The Nikkei was up almost +6%, although both in Shanghai and Australia a more modest +1% rise was booked.
Part of the more upbeat tone is the continuing 'good data' sets being released. They were there during the recent bout of anxiety, but they seem to still keep coming. Over the weekend, it was reported that sales of houses in the US surged back in December.
But the consequences of the severe weather in the US north-east may echo in future reports.
Over the weekend, the latest edition of the Demographia affordability survey was out, featuring Auckland as the world's fifth most unaffordable city after Hong Kong, Sydney, Vancouver, and San Jose, CA. For Auckland, that is quite a leap from the previous year where it was 14th. Looking at the detail however, this survey has median household incomes at $77,500, up +3.2% in a year and up +9.8% in two years - and all three data items seem dubious. They also have median Auckland house prices up +22% in the year from 2014 to 2015 to $748,700. REINZ only reported a maximum +15% growth in any month last year. Despite these factual flaws, the survey is useful in shining a light on the unaffordability issue.
In another demographic note, both Beijing and Shanghai have launched targets to keep their populations below 23 and 25 million respectively. Chinese population control policies are shifting from 'family' to 'city'.
Another tough balancing act is playing out in their central bank. A leaked memo from the PBoC shows serious regulatory tension over how to keep up liquidity, especially heading into the Chinese New Year holiday week, while preventing the Yuan from depreciating fast. The perils of a centrally controlled economy.
Back in New York, the benchmark UST 10yr yield has bounced back somewhat and is now at 2.06% - that is up +7 bps and the biggest single-day rise since the last Fed meeting when rates were raised. Locally, swap rates rose but more modestly, although since Thursday the cumulative gain is pronounced.
The oil price has also had a good short-term gain and is now up to US$32/barrel on both benchmarks. Iran's re-entry into a post-sanction world has brought a 114-airplane order with Airbus, and the country's authorities are reportedly also negotiating a large order with Boeing.
The gold price is holding at US$1,100/oz.
The Kiwi dollar ended last week slightly softer but up from Thursday's lows at 64.9 US¢, at 92.6 AU¢, and at 60 euro cents. The TWI-5 will start this week at 70.6.
If you want to catch up with all the local changes on Friday, we have an update here.
The easiest place to stay up with event risk today is by following our Economic Calendar here ».