Here are the key things you need to know before you leave work today:
MORTGAGE RATE CHANGES
No changes today
TERM DEPOSIT RATE CHANGES
Both NZCU South and NZCU Central made term deposit changes today.
Data out today on NZ's PSI (services index) indicates a sector that is expanding at a very healthy rate. Even though the January level is slightly lower than the average of the past 3 months, it does not indicate cause for concern. Except one metric does; the employment sub-index which has slipped to a level indicating the steam has gone out of hiring in the services sector. On it's own that is not a big thing, but when you realise the factory PMI also showed the same signal last week, you realise that perhaps NZ's economy is no longer as employment-friendly as it was in 2017.
HAPPY WITH 4% IN A RISING YIELD BOND MARKET?
Goodman Property Trust today announced that it has opened an offer of up to $100 mln of 5.5 year fixed rate senior secured bonds, maturing on 1 September 2023. It's new funding, not repaying an existing bond. They will have a BBB+ credit rating and will offer an issue margin range of +1.2% - 1.3% above swap, subject to a minimum interest rate of 4.00% pa. At today's 5 year swap rate of 2.72%, that suggests the minimum 4% yield is likely to apply. There will be no public pool - to get some you can only do so through an adviser. Or you can wait. Transpower is considering a new retail 7 year bond offer now and details are expected before the end of the month.
A relative unknown has thrown his hat in the ring to be the next leader of the National Party. Inside the party Mark Mitchell is seen as "the future", but outside he has a lot of profile building to do.
In 2017, two out of every thirteen visitors to Australia were Kiwis, by far their largest source of tourists. But the rate of growth has peaked. At 1.35 mln per year, that level is almost the same as for calendar year 2016.
Chinese nationalisim politics is reaching into Australian employment practices.
BENCHMARK INTEREST RATES SLIP
There has been a further slight retreat in swap rates today, in the absence of US bond market activity. Rates 3-10 years are down -1 or -2 bps. The 90 day bank bill rate is back up another +1 bp to 1.92%. Even though tiny, these recent movements up re[present the most in 2018 and take this benchmark back to levels we last had in mid-November 2017
BITCOIN LITTLE CHANGED
Bitcoin is now at US$10,417, down slightly from the open this morning.
NZ DOLLAR FIRM
The Kiwi dollar is settling in at 74 USc, at 93.3 AUc and 59.5 euro cents. That puts the TWI-5 at 74.7 although with a slight firm tone is across the board - so the TWI is inching up to the top of its recent range.
This chart is animated here. For previous users, the animation process has been updated and works better now.