Here's my summary of the key events overnight that affect New Zealand, with news the Houston storm is having international repercussions.
But first, the American trade deficit in goods rose in July as exports fell more than imports, suggesting that trade would make only a modest contribution to economic growth in the third quarter. Inventories were pretty much unchanged.
The cost of that Texan storm is expected to hit the insurance industry to the tune of about US$30 bln, but the total cost will be far higher, probably well over US$100 bln because most people don't have insurance. (That compares with the 2011 Christchurch quakes of about US$16 bln.) In time, the recovery will create a mini-boom in the area.
Here's an interesting American survey, something you may not have expected. New, respected Pew Center research shows Americans are getting more tolerant, not less. But all we hear is from the strident anti- brigade. While most multi-racial people say they've been targets of racial slurs or jokes, almost none think their status is a liability in the US. One in five, the Pew survey finds, say it's an advantage, while three-quarters say it has made no difference in their daily lives or career. The Pew Center's conclusion: Multi-racial Americans "are at the cutting edge of social and demographic changes in the U.S. - young, proud, tolerant and growing at a rate three times as fast as the population as a whole."
China's central bank is nudging up the value of its currency in a relentless move, taking it to a 13 month high against the US dollar. Still, that is only a three month high against the Kiwi dollar.
In the Himalayas, India and China have appeared to end a months-long military cold confrontation. Both sides are seeking to portray the withdrawal as a victory. Eased tensions there is a very good thing.
In New York, the UST 10yr yield slipped slightly again and is now at 2.16%.
The price of crude oil has fallen sharply on the shutdown of Texan refinery demand and now just over US$46.50 a barrel, while the Brent benchmark is just under US$52. These are major crude consumers, and while petrol prices may have jumped, taking out this processing demand - about 15% of US refining capacity - has had the opposite effect for crude prices. The impact will be particularly tough on places like Venezuela.
The price of gold is sharply higher, up +US$18 to US$1,311/oz which is a three month high.
The Kiwi dollar is also a little higher today at 72.6 US. But we are lower on the cross rates at 91.1 AU¢, and 60.6 euro cents. The TWI-5 index is however still at 74.7.
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 ».