Here's my summary of the key events overnight that affect New Zealand, with news that currency outflows from China seem to have slowed.
But first, in America the number of Americans filing for jobless benefits fell more than expected last week, suggesting their labour market continued to strengthen despite unspectacular economic growth.
In China, the country’s foreign exchange reserves grew in March for the first time in five months. Those reserves are a rough proxy for money moving in and out of the country, so it appears officials have stemmed the outflow for now. But without the effect of a devaluation in the Yuan, they would have had to report another month of outflow, although one of about US$25 bln and much less than the monthly US$100 bln or so they had reported in January and February.
French economist Thomas Piketty, whose 2014 book highlighted the problems of inequality, has launched a new campaign to get Europe to increase its immigration targets to at least 1 million extra people per year.
They will probably come by air. Global passenger air traffic in February had strong growth in demand for both domestic and international travel. Total revenue passenger kilometers (RPKs) rose +8.6% compared to the same month last year. Growth in the Asia-Pacific region was up more than +11%, and the Indian domestic market grew a staggering +25%. However airplane capacity is growing even faster and so overall load factors slipped slightly.
In Australia, construction activity slipped in March to a 13-month low on the back of weakness in home building and declining engineering work.
In New York the benchmark UST 10yr yield is down sharply to 1.70%. We will no doubt see this trend in local swap rates later today, pushing them down to deeper record lows. At some point one bank will use them to drive our fixed mortgage rates lower (and deposit rates the same way). There has been an eerie calm in bank pricing of mortgage rates recently, unjustified by either swap rates or credit spreads.
The oil price is back down to US$37/barrel in the US, while Brent is at US$39/barrel.
The gold price is up +US$15 to US$1,238/oz.
And finally, the NZ dollar will start today a little softer at 67.7 US¢, at 90.2 AU¢, and at 59.5 euro cents. The TWI-5 index is at 70.9.
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 ».