Here are the key things you need to know before you leave work today.
TODAY'S MORTGAGE RATE CHANGES
There are no changes to report today.
TODAY'S DEPOSIT RATE CHANGES
No changes to report here either.
Global dairy prices rose +2.1% in the latest dairy auction, though the gains were eaten up by a stronger Kiwi dollar. The key Wholemilk powder price edged up +1.5%, back up above US$2,000 per metric tonne.
QV's latest figures show values remain flat in Auckland but are up strongly in Wellington, Tauranga and Hamilton.
The latest LGFA bond tender featured only 8 winning bids for the four tranches offered, out of 93 bids in total. Just about everyone was a loser! The average weighted yield was 3.2% pa, average weighted coverage ratio high at 4.0x
Credit rating agency Moody's has left its credit ratings for NZ banks with stable outlooks, noting they have a 'strong buffer' to withstand stresses from a potentially more challenging operating environment. It's a review that included all the big Aussie-owned banks, plus Kiwibank.
The number of used imports registered in March was a high 12,153 although not quite as high as for the same month a year ago. Over the past year, 144,530 used imports have been registered on our roads, +52% more than new cars for the same period.
National median rent for a 3 bedroom house reached $400/week, the highest level ever. But it was not rents in Auckland that pushed it up ($600/week), it was actually those from Wellington that moved up the strongest ($550/week). This is data out of the Tenancy Bond records.
STILL GOING STRONGLY
Mortgage approvals last week were marginally lower than the week before, both weeks straddling Easter. But compared with the same weeks a year ago, these approvals (volume) are about +8% higher this year than last. On a value basis they are up more than +10%.
The consequences of poor public policy decisions is revealed today in Australia. The annual cost of their student loans program to the taxpayer is expected to blowout by a staggering +560% over the next decade, according to a shock new report that will pave the way for major changes to the system in the upcoming budget. It is now projected the total value of the student loans program will grow from around AU$60 bln now to AU$180 bln by 2026 - a surge attributed largely to the policy to allow universities to set their own fees.
BETTER, BUT WITH A STING
The latest PMI update for China Services has come in better-than-expected. The headline Caixin China General Services PMI for March came in at 52.2, up +1.0 point from February's figure, but the employment category fell below the neutral 50-point level for the first time since August 2013.
WHOLESALE RATES HOLD LOWER
Local wholesale rates are unchanged for terms to 3 years, but are down marginally for longer terms. NZ swap rates are here. The 90-day bank bill rate is also unchanged at 2.33%.
NZ DOLLAR HOLDS
The NZD was lower overnight but has made back those losses in todays local trading. We are back to where we were this time yesterday. The Kiwi is again at 68.1 USc, at 90 AUc and 59.8 euro cents. The TWI-5 is still at 71.2. Check our real-time charts here.
You can now see an animation of this chart. Click on it, or click here.