Here's our summary of key events overnight that affect New Zealand, with news from all over.
Firstly, the Bank of Japan appears to have started a process of tapering their QE program. Traders are calling it 'stealth tapering'. It is hard to know whether this move is significant, but Japan has been money-printing since 2001 so any change will be noticed. The latest move is to just dial back the level of money-printing (QE) a little. It certainly isn't ending anytime soon.
In Mexico, they announced their consumer inflation was +6.8% in December, its highest rate there in 17 years.
Back in Japan, the Nikkei index of 225 leading Japanese shares reached its highest level since 1991. That was 26 years ago, and marks the point when a deflationary cycle started there. The recent rise in the Nikkei225 recently has been dramatic; in the last four years it has risen by 2.8 times from an index level of 8,500 to today's 23,850. That period mirrors the Prime Ministership of Shinto Abe.
The price of iron ore is very firm at US$77.62/tonne today despite nearly every analysts warning it is about to fall. In fact, analysts have been saying that ever since the price went through US$60/tonne. The high price is based on China demand, and the world's largest export port for the stuff has just handled a world's record tonnage in December. We should also keep an eye on Aussie exports of lithium, which are rising fast too.
The UST 10yr yield has had an unusual move higher overnight to 2.54% today (+6 bps). That is its highest level since March 2017. In China, the equivalent 10yr sovereign bond is unchanged at 3.92% while the equivalent NZ 10yr sovereign bond is yielding 2.81% (+3 bps). These rises are sure to make many bond traders nervous as they signal sharp drops in the face value of their holdings. KiwiSaver members in conservative funds are likely to feel the impact if the rises hold. For everyone else, the rise in yields signals optimism.
Oil prices are higher in the US today by about +US$1.50 with the WTI benchmark now just under US$63 a barrel, while the Brent benchmark is just under US$69. (Keep an eye on our petrol pump prices - the impact will bite there.)
Gold is lower by another -US$6 to US$1,310/oz.
The Kiwi dollar is marginally softer this morning at just on 71.7 USc on a stronger greenback, and on the cross rates it is at 91.7 AUc, and against the euro it's higher at 60.1 euro cents. That puts the TWI-5 unchanged at 74.1.
Bitcoin has held over the past 24 hours, up just +US$100 to US$14,907.
The easiest place to stay up with event risk today is by following our Economic Calendar here ».