Here's our summary of key events overnight that affect New Zealand, with news bitcoin is back over US$10,000.
But first in the US, the inflation theme is intensifying. Producer prices there rose +2.7% in the year to January, up on the prior month and well above analyst estimates.
Meanwhile, American industrial production sagged in January and was not quite as strong as first reported in December. It fell -0.1% in January from December, the first stumble since mid 2017, and the December gain was revised down by ½%. Both levels are below analysts' expectations. (But having said that, it is still +3.7% higher than the same month a year ago - they are just not adding to those healthy gains.) Capacity utilisation also fell.
In Canada, the latest data on employment growth seems tame and well shy of what they were achieving for most of 2017. However they do have growth in January 2018 even if it is small, and that contrasts with the decline reported in January 2017.
In China, new regulations have been issued to prevent local authorities pledging land rights when they issue new bonds. In the past, many have pledged land-usage rights and other public infrastructure assets such as schools, hospitals and public squares as part of their assets, fueling an explosion of debt-based fund-raising. That avenue is now closed.
In Australia, the Canadian buying dairy company Murray Goulburn is signaling that their artificially low "$1/litre" supermarket milk price will end if his bid is finalised. He is seeking a majority of suppliers to back his bid.
Ratings agency Fitch has affirmed New Zealand's AA sovereign credit rating in a post-election review. It likes our governance standards, policy frameworks and institutions, and the commitment to prudent fiscal management. It sees "high" external debt and "elevated" household debt as vulnerabilities. If the 'prudent fiscal management' (read surpluses) dissolve even if debt levels say similar, that would clearly risk a downgrade.
In New York, the UST 10yr yield has resisted climbing higher and is now at 2.90%, down -1 bp on the day. The Aussie 10 yr is also at 2.90% and parity which last occurred 18 years ago, while the NZ 10 yr is at 3.02%.
Measures of market volatility however have been trending higher in today's trade. The Fear & Greed Index is strongly on the fear side.
The gold price is virtually unchanged this morning at US$1,351.
Oil prices are up more than +US$1 with the US benchmark now just under US$61/bbl and the Brent benchmark over US$64/bbl.
The Kiwi dollar is also higher, up nearly ½c again at 73.8 USc. That's a gain of more than 1½c in a week. On the cross rates we higher too at 93.3 AUc and 59.1 euro cents. That puts the TWI-5 at just up to 74.4 and nearer the top end of its 2018 range.
And can you believe it? but bitcoin is back over US$10,000, an +8% rise on the day. Remember, it was at at US$6,914 ten days ago so the rise from then is +45%. Investment guru and Warren Buffet partner Charlie Munger overnight called bitcoin 'noxious poison'.
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