Here's my summary of the key events overnight that affect New Zealand, with news of rising bond stress in China ahead of the New Year holiday.
But first, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose above the index level of 20,000 for the first time this morning. The gains have been attributed to enthusiasm for the new US Administration's big spending plans for major infrastructure projects. However, a growing number of conservative Congressional politicians are suddenly wary of the new direction.
The number of American mortgage applications rose last week to their highest level in seven months even as borrowing costs also rose for the first time in four weeks. Interest rates on 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages, the most widely held type of home loan there, now averages 4.35%, up from 4.27% in the previous week.
Rising interest rates hurt bond investors. Many thought the initial hurt would show up on Wall Street or London. But actually it is in China where real stress is playing out at present. They have a US$3 tln corporate debt market and paying the expected higher interest will prove to much for many in 2017. Record defaults are expected. In China, the pressure is resulting much higher levels of fraud which compounds the problems.
In Japan, they have just posted a trade surplus, its first in six years. Lower oil prices helped.
In Australia, real estate agent tactics are in the spotlight in Victoria and officials there are cracking down, handing many agents big fines. The practice of "under-quoting" is said to be "widespread".
And locally, the Auckland High Court is playing a part in helping a wealthy Malaysian family keep assets 'stolen' from the 1MDB sovereign fund, thwarting US prosecutors from recovering matters in dispute.
In New York, the UST 10yr yield has continued rising is now at 2.53%.
Oil prices are unchanged today, now just under US$53.50 for the US benchmark, while the Brent benchmark is still just under US$55.50 a barrel.
The gold price is lower however, falling to US$1,199/oz
The New Zealand dollar also unchanged from this time yesterday, holding its high level and will open again at 72.7 US¢. On the cross rates we are at 96.1 AU¢, and against the euro at 67.7 euro cents. The NZ TWI-5 index is still up at 78.1.
If you want to catch up with all the changes on yesterday, we have an update here.
The easiest place to stay up with event risk today is by following our Economic Calendar here ».