Here's our summary of key events overnight that affect New Zealand, with news bitcoin is back over US$10,000.
Firstly, sales of new homes in the US in January have come in dramatically lower than expected and well down on the rate we saw in December. It was even below the level for the same month a year ago. Further, median prices for these new homes dropped -4% and more worryingly, the number of months supply at current sales rates rose to 6.8 months. Driving the change were steep declines in the Northeast and South, and these raise concerns the American housing market is losing momentum.
But a closely watched report of business activity in the American oil patch has come in very positive. The new orders and growth rate of orders in Texas held steady however. But capacity utilisation rose and shipments rose sharply and reached their highest level in twelve years.
Investors on Wall Street have started the week in a positive mood with most indexes up about +1%.
In Canada, ratings agency S&P says that fast rising prices, high personal debt and frothy housing conditions are a breeding ground for mortgage fraud and it expects more in their big cities especially, and by second tier banks especially. The ratings agency has dropped its economic risk assessment by one notch as a consequence.
In the UK, the growth in consumer lending after the GFC is over. It took a sharp drop after the Brexit vote, and now it has turned negative. Consumer pessimism - or just consumers preparing for a tighter future - has the potential to become self-fulfilling.
In New York, the UST 10 yr yield starts today at 2.86% and another slight drift lower.
The gold price is up marginally by +US$3 to US$1,331/oz as it continues its oscillation around that level.
Oil prices are a little firmer today with the US benchmark now just over US$64/bbl and the Brent benchmark over US$67.50/bbl.
The Kiwi dollar will also start marginally firmer this morning at 73 USc. On the cross rates we are a tad higher at 93.1 AUc and at 59.4 euro cents. That puts the TWI-5 at 74.2.
Bitcoin is back over US$10,000 and now at US$10,180. That is a +9% rise from this time yesterday.
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