Here are the key things you need to know before you leave work today:
MORTGAGE RATE CHANGES
No changes to report here.
TERM DEPOSIT RATE CHANGES
No changes here either. Update: ANZ has tweaked some term deposit rates.
PRICES UP (JUST), VOLUMES SKID LOWER
REINZ says the national median house price rose +1.9% to $550,000 in December from November, or an +5.8% increase for all of 2017. Auckland prices are only up +1.8% for the year. But national sales volumes are down -10.1% year-on-year in December, or -16.7% for all of 2017 compared to 2016. For Auckland the situation is worse, down -22.2% on the same basis. It's a shrinking marketplace.
JOBS GROW FASTER THAN BENEFICIARY NUMBERS
We have had seven years where the growth in the number of workers has been faster than the growth in beneficiaries, despite the ageing population. But is that trend about to reverse?
NZGB YIELD RISES
Data out yesterday saw a drop in the amount of Government securities on issue drop by NZ$5 bln. Today's NZGB bond tender brought a rise in the weighted average accepted yield to 2.69% from 2.56% just one month ago, a +13 bps jump. But a year ago, the yield on this bond was 3.13%. Today's coverage ratio slightly lower at 3.3x.
STRONG JOBS GROWTH
In Australia, strong jobs growth has pushed newly created positions for 2017 to +393,000, eighty one percent of which were full-time jobs. But their jobless rate ticked unexpectedly higher at 5.5% s.a. That was because their participation rate inched up to 66.2% its highest level for more than eight years.
GULP, OCKER, HOW HIGH?
In Australia they have been hit with an unwelcome surprise. Their already stratospheric household-debt-to-income ratio was thought to be 195%, but a recent change to include self-managed super funds properly has seen it balloon to 199.7%. SMSFs are a debt magnet so I hope we don't adopt that option here. By the way, the equivalent NZ ratio is 167%, which is high enough thank you. Fortunately, ours has been stable for all of 2017.
WHOLESALE RATES RISE STRONGLY
Local swap rates are +3 bps higher today across the board, except for the one year which is up +1 bp. The UST 10yr is sharply higher at 2.59%, a jump of +5 bps. In China, their sovereign 10yr yield is at 4.04% firming by +1 bp. The NZ Govt 10yr yield is up even more at 2.94% (+6 bps). And the Aussie 10yr is higher too at 2.79% (+4 bps) after being up +6 bps a couple of hours ago.
NZ DOLLAR UNCHANGED
The NZ dollar is little changed since this time yesterday at 72.6 USc. We are level pegging against the Aussie at 91.3 AUc and marginally firmer at 59.5 euro cents. This puts the TWI-5 at 74.1. Basically we were stronger against all until the Aussie jobless rate release, then we slipped back to yesterday's levels. The wobble was quickly erased however.
BITCOIN GOES WILDER
But the big action has been for bitcoin again today. It fell sharply to US$9,200 at one point getting and has since recovered and is now at US$11,571 which is about US$350 more than at this time yesterday. That is massive volatility of +/- 23% in just one day. Those sort of movements just confirm it is not 'money' as we know it. Most, but not all, other cryptocurrencies are on a similar wild ride.
You can now see an animation of this chart. Click on it, or click here.