Here's my summary of the key events overnight that affect New Zealand, with news of another big stumble by a big global bank.
But first in the US, existing-home sales crept higher in January to the highest annual rate in six months and are +11% higher than a year ago. Tight supply levels raised the median home price to US$213,800 (NZ$322,000) and growing +8.2%, its fastest rise in almost a year.
However American consumer confidence has taken a hit in February, according to a survey out today.
In Europe, Standard Chartered, an Asia-focused bank based in London, reported overnight an unexpectedly large loss of -NZ$3.5 bln for 2015 after being pummeled by its exposure to emerging markets and bad loans. It was the latest in a series of weak performances by global banks, amid concerns over a slowing world economy. Standard Chartered also warned that more than 150 current or former executives were at risk of having their bonuses clawed back if they were found to be responsible for the bank’s poor performance. Standard Chartered is a bank about the same size as CBA in assets but far, far less profitable. CBA made a tax-paid profit of almost +NZ$10 bln in the same period.
In Germany, business confidence has suffered its steepest drop since 2008, according to a widely watched survey. The fall, the third in a row, left their index at 105.7 from 107.3 in January, and well below the expected slip to 106.8.
In Australia, the lending screws are tightening. Banks approved fewer new loans for housing investors in the December quarter, wrote fewer mortgages for customers with low deposits, and reduced the number of new loans where borrowers are only paying back interest.
In New York the benchmark UST 10yr yield is marginally higher again, today by +4 bps to 1.80%. Yesterday, local swap rates fell slightly across the curve, with the long end back near its all-time low.
The oil price is lower today, down to US$32/barrel in the US while Brent is just on US$33/barrel. The Saudi oil minister overnight ended the fantasy that oil producers would cut output. He now says market price pain is the more efficient way to force marginal producers out of the market. But he has no idea how long that will take because it seems shale out output gains will be more than cuts OPEC was considering.
The gold price is +US$12 higher today at US$1,225/oz.
The NZ dollar is still range-trading. It is now at 66.6 US¢, at 92.4 AU¢, and at 60.4 euro cents. The TWI-5 will start today at 71.2.
If you want to catch up with all the local changes yesterday, we have an update here.
The easiest place to stay up with event risk today is by following our Economic Calendar here ».