Here are the key things you need to know before you leave work today:
MORTGAGE RATE CHANGES
TSB has updated its mortgage rates for standard and special rates. See rates here.
TERM DEPOSIT RATE CHANGES
No changes here today.
REINZ - FEBRUARY RESULTS
The housing market bounced up in February with the volumes of homes sold running ahead of February last year and prices also improving versus January. The REINZ recorded 6373 residential property sales in February, up 1.2% compared to February last year, while the national median price was $530,000, compared to $520,000 in January. That puts it the national median price up by 3.9% compared to February last year. Homes also became slightly easier to sell, with the median days needed to make a sale dropping from 46 in January to 44 in February.
AMERICA'S CUP VENUE
A new option, evolved from suggestions by local residents and interest group, may be the selected venue for the 36th America's Cup event in Auckland. It is the cheapest of the four options put forward and will deliver the smallest intrusion into the harbour. This is what Minister for Economic Development David Parker was trying to achieve. The option known as Point-Halsey utilises land on Wynyard Point and reduced to 45m the extension to Halsey Street Wharf. There would be no extension to Hobson Wharf. It provides for two double bases on Halsey, one of which will be Emirates Team New Zealand’s base and additional bases on Wynyard wharf as syndicates are confirmed. It requires a 9900 sqm extension into the harbour. The cost for this option is estimated to be $140 mln.
BALANCE OF PAYMENTS
The current account balance for the December 2017 quarter printed at -$2.770 bln. This was made up of a goods trade deficit of -$1.195 bln, a services trade surplus of $1.074 bln, an investment income deficit of -$2.733 bln and incoming transfers of $83 mln. The capital account balance was -$19 mln. The net international investment position sits at -$155.202 bln with $251.580 bln international assets and -$406.782 international liabilities.
INDONESIAN PRESIDENT TO VISIT NZ
To mark the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Indonesia and New Zealand, Indonesia's President Joko Widodo will be visiting New Zealand from 18 to 19 March, Jacinda Ardern announced today. Indonesia has the world's fourth largest population and third largest democracy. It is the largest economy in ASEAN. It is a major market for New Zealand meat, dairy and agriculture exports, with total two-way goods trade of NZ$1.76 billion in 2017. This visit is an opportunity to increase trade between New Zealand and Indonesia.
RABOBANK - NEW BOND OFFER
Rabobank has launched a new 3 year bond offer for $100 mln. The book build opens today and closes tomorrow. The bonds will be issued on 22 March 2018 with a guidance interest rate for the bond at 3m BKBM FRA + 0.75%. Minimum subscriptions are $750,000. The issuer ratings by Standard and Poor's is A+ with a positive outlook.
NZCU Baywide has launched a new core banking system that establishes a modern operational platform spread across the branch and nationwide online banking system. The multi-million dollar project brings the Credit Union on par with Tier One banks and gives it flexibility to grow its 30,000 strong customer base. They are already working on phase two of the project, which is modernising their internet and mobile banking platforms.
BENCHMARK INTEREST RATES LOWER
Wholesale swap rates are higher at the short end of the curve and lower at the long end with the 1 yr and 2 yr rate up +1 bps and the 4 yr rate being down -1 bps, 5yr down -2 bps and the 7 yr and 10 yr down -3 bps. The UST 10yr is down to 2.84% today (-4 bps). The Aussie Govt 10 yr is down -6 bps to 2.76%. The China 10 yr is down -1 bps at 3.86% while the NZ Govt 10 yr is down -3 bps to 2.95%. The 90 day bank bill rate is lower at 1.89%.
The bitcoin price is stable at US$9,212.
NZ DOLLAR HIGHER
The NZD has traded slightly higher today to currently trade at 73.3 USc. On the cross rates we are at 93.3 AUc and at 59.2 euro cents. That puts the TWI-5 at 74.2.
This chart is animated here. For previous users, the animation process has been updated and works better now.