Here's my summary of the key events overnight that affect New Zealand, with news the OECD has highlighted how vulnerable the Aussie economy is to its housing sector.
But first, the number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits fell to a level last seen in March 1973. Their labour market are tightening even as economic growth appears to be moderate in the March 2017 quarter. Markets now expect a US Federal Reserve benchmark rate hike this month.
In China, despite the President's anti-corruption campaign, the combined wealth of the top 100 members of the Chinese parliament has been calculated and it is 'impressive' (and not necessarily in a good way). It actually makes the Trump cabinet look like paupers!
Just like Australia earlier in the week, Canada has reported +2.6% economic growth in Q4-2016, one that exceeded expectations by a healthy margin. It was on the strength of consumer demand for cars and financial services, and a rebound in real-estate investment. We have to wait until March 16 to see if ours is similarly impressive - although we did report a strong +3.0% result for Q3-2016, so our bar is higher.
In Europe, we are starting to see the effect of low-priced oil shift out as an inflation-depressing factor. Eurozone inflation has risen to 2% and above the ECB's target rate for the first time in four years. This is the highest level since January 2013. However, analysts don't expect the ECB to alter its current €60 bln/mth stimulus program.
In Britain, they are making a real meal of their Brexit processes.
In Australia, regulator ASIC has taken Westpac to court alleging the bank made home loans in breach of their 'responsible lending criteria' rules. The allegations relate to activity before March 2015 and center around the bank using a formula for assessing affordability rather than the client's actual circumstance.
And the OCED has reported on the prospects for the Australian economy and is generally positive. However, their vulnerability to a house price collapse triggering their first recession in 26 years has sharpened, they say. (see page 18.)
In New York, the UST 10yr yield is up again today to 2.50%.
Oil prices are down again today and now just under US$53 for the US benchmark, while the Brent benchmark is just over US$55 a barrel. Demand for petrol in the United States, which accounts for 10% of global oil consumption, is expected to peak in 2018 as engines become more efficient.
The gold price is also a lower again, down another -US$14 at US$1,232/oz.
And the New Zealand dollar is lower again too as the stronger greenback rises further. The Kiwi dollar is now at 70.6 USc, its lowest in 8 weeks. On the cross rates we are at 93.3 AU¢t, and against the euro at 67.2 euro cents. The NZ TWI-5 index is down to 76.5.
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 ».