Here's my summary of the key events overnight that affect New Zealand, with news of further sharp rises in US benchmark bond yields.
But first, in the US both building permits and housing starts together rose strongly in December as a firming economy boosted demand for rental housing, while an unexpected drop in the number of Americans filing for jobless benefits last week to a 43 year low pointed to a further tightening in their labour markets. The new Administration is inheriting a relatively strong economy.
American inflation has risen to its highest level in 30 months in data out Wednesday. It is up +2.1% from December a year ago.
And across the northern border, Canada's factories are firing on all cylinders and capping nine months of rising strength.
In Australia, the first measure of consumer spending in December shows Australian businesses had their best holiday shopping periods since 2006. But those good outcomes didn't take place in the traditional retail sector of large department stores and supermarkets. The strongest gains were strongest for business and consumer service providers, car sales, and hospitality. But sales in retail stores, by mail order or for telephone orders, things were tough and in decline. This December data is from analysing transactions at Australia's largest bank.
And staying in Australia, Moody's is reporting that house prices there have grown so well that investors in mortgage-backed securities now have an extra 14% equity cushion underpinning their holdings.
In New York, the UST 10yr yield has taken off today and is now up 2.48%. Bond prices are being thrashed again. We had steep rises in local wholesale swap rates yesterday and more moves in the same direction could well be on the cards today as a result of this Wall Street move in benchmark rates.
Oil prices are lower than when we looked at them, now down to just over US$51 for the US benchmark, while the Brent benchmark is now just on US$54 a barrel.
The gold price is also lower, down US$11 and is now just on US$1,200/oz.
The New Zealand dollar is still within its recent range but with a touch of strength today, now at 71.6 US¢. On the cross rates it is at 95 AU¢, and against the euro at 67.4 euro cents. The NZ TWI-5 index is at 77.5.
If you want to catch up with all the changes yesterday, we have an update here.
The easiest place to stay up with event risk today is by following our Economic Calendar here ».