Here are the key things you need to know before you leave work today:
MORTGAGE RATE CHANGES
The Co-operative Bank has cut its one year fixed rate by -5 bps to 4.39%.
TERM DEPOSIT RATE CHANGES
The Co-operative Bank has trimmed two term deposit rates. The took -5 bps off their nine month rates, and the same off their one year rate which is now 3.45%.
The latest Local Government Funding Authority bond tender has brought an average weighted average yield accepted of 3.13% and stable and strong coverage ratio of 3.9x. Today's yield achieved is -21 bps lower than the equivalent December tender.
IAG’S NZ HALF YEAR INSURANCE PROFIT JUMPS 231%
IAG’s New Zealand division has reported an insurance profit of A$119 million in 1HY18, an increase from A$36 million in 1HY17. The insurer says the improvement stems from it receiving more in premiums (due to volume and rate growth). Its gross written premium increased by 3.9% from 1HY17 to $323 million. IAG says it has also benefited from there being no earthquakes in the first half of 2018.
Forest owners who are ready to harvest are sitting pretty with average log prices well above 3yr averages. There is firm demand from China and is that is likely to improve, while the variable demand from India will likely see improvement later in 2018. Domestic buyers are facing rising prices although those processing for export are finding good demand as well.
VOLUMES UP, PRICES DOWN
Real estate agent Harcourts had a good start to the year with sales up +8% compared to a year ago but selling prices were softer, particularly in Auckland where they actually fell year-on-year.
The marginal rise in inflation expectations that started a year ago has continued into 2018 with consumers expecting 2.1% rises and well up from the +1.6% increases this survey found in 2016. (This is a survey of consumer, not the RBNZ's own expectations.) This result has seen the NZD jump +30 bps.
New Zealand listed insurer CBL is exiting its French construction business with its tail between its legs. The company itself is facing an existential crisis.
NEW DEBT OUT OF FAVOUR
In Australia, the level of personal finance commitments (which includes for housing) is falling quite quickly. 2017 was -10.7% lower than 2016, which December 2017 was -17.7% lower than the same month a year earlier.
BENCHMARK INTEREST RATES SLIP
The UST 10 yr yield is giving up some ground today, now down -3 bps to 2.83%. The Aussie 10 yr is at 2.84% (down -3 bps). The Chinese 10 yr is at 3.91% (down -1 bp), and the Kiwi 10 yr bond is 2.98% (down -2 bps). The 90 day bank bill rate is unchanged at 1.91%. Meanwhile, local swap rates have moved down a little today by -1 bp for most durations, although the two year is going the other way, up +1 bp.
Bitcoin is now at US$8,630 which is down -US$100 or -1.1% from this time yesterday. Extreme volatility is left the building here.
NZ DOLLAR BUMPED UP
The Kiwi dollar had changed little again today until the inflation expectation data came out. Then it jumped +30 bps. It is currently at 73.1 USc, at 93 AUc and 59.1 euro cents. That puts the TWI-5 up at 74.1.