Australia faces higher rates; China starts 2017 well; Canada housing markets up; Japan's record surplus; India holds rates; UST 10yr yield at 2.36%; oil and gold up; NZ$1 = 73.2 US¢, TWI-5 = 78.5

Australia faces higher rates; China starts 2017 well; Canada housing markets up; Japan's record surplus; India holds rates; UST 10yr yield at 2.36%; oil and gold up; NZ$1 = 73.2 US¢, TWI-5 = 78.5

Here's my summary of the key events overnight that affect New Zealand, with news of an improving Chinese economy.

But first, local eyes will soon be on the RBNZ February Monetary Policy Statement which will be released at 9am. We will have full coverage and analysis.

While we are waiting for our Reserve Bank to report, a former RBA board member has said Australia faces higher interest rates and a stronger dollar in 2017 as US inflation gathers momentum. If he is right, New Zealand will face the same.

There are growing indications that the Chinese economy has started 2017 strongly. One indication is a recent rise in steel prices. That in turn is helping iron ore prices to rise and rise, largely to the benefit of Australia. In fact iron ore shipment volumes are rising as well. Aussie mining stocks are back in favour again.

In Canada, the latest data out there shows their housing market keeps on growing. Talk of a correction there hasn't eventuated yet.

In Japan, they have recorded their biggest current account surplus since 2007, hitting a massive US$184 bln in 2016.

In India, their central bank unexpectedly left interest rates unchanged overnight despite a slowdown in their economy. They have concerns over rises in global commodity prices, and risks stemming from uncertainty in American economic policy.

In New York, the UST 10yr yield is marginally lower today than at this time yesterday, now at 2.36%.

Oil prices are marginally higher today, now just over US$52 for the US benchmark, while the Brent benchmark is just over US$55 a barrel. But high US stocks are limiting any substantial price moves higher.

The gold price is also higher, continuing its run up and now at US$1,242/oz.

The New Zealand dollar however is little changed from this time yesterday, still at 73.2 US¢. On the cross rates we are at 95.7 AU¢, and against the euro at 68.4 euro cents. The NZ TWI-5 index is again at 78.5.

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 ».

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David, the Canadian housing starts that are quoted, comparatively on an annualised basis how do they compare with New Zealand's housing starts. The correction you speak of , is this related to pricing or building?

The sad passing of data rock star Hans Rosling. One of his better Ted talks:

The best stats you've ever seen.
https://www.ted.com/talks/hans_rosling_shows_the_best_stats_you_ve_ever_...
How not to be ignorant about the world.
https://www.ted.com/talks/hans_and_ola_rosling_how_not_to_be_ignorant_ab...

DC gets readers on choice for comments. Congrats. Take that Keywest.

In Japan, they have recorded their biggest current account surplus since 2007, hitting a massive US$184 bln in 2016.

Hmmmm... The rewards hardly seem worth the effort.

The wallets of Japan’s workers ended up a bit fatter last year, with total earnings rising the most since 2010.

Total pay rose 0.5 percent from the previous year to an average 3.78 million yen ($33,673), while the number of hours worked dropped. Regular workers saw an increase in pay, while part-timers, who are an increasingly large sector of the workforce, saw their income decline 0.1 percent. Read more

Japan: Nothing wrong with a current account surplus. The Micawber Principle applies. Stephen H: Much of New Zealand would be very please with those income rises, especially where costs are deflating.
Maybe a stable population is the way to go.