Here's our summary of key events overnight that affect New Zealand, with news Wall Street is down sharply this morning.
Firstly, Facebook is facing growing pressure after both American and European lawmakers called for investigations into reports that Trump's campaign consultants gained access to data to manipulate 50 mln Facebook users. The pressure triggered a -2% fall on Wall Street while the tech-heavy NASDAQ is down more than -2.5%.
In Washington, President Trump has named Kiwi Chris Liddell as deputy chief of staff, behind under-fire John Kelly.
In Frankfurt, the ECB is reportedly turning its attention away from QE (bond buying) and to when it should start raising benchmark interest rates. This is a key turning point for them.
In China, new home prices fell from the previous month in 12 of 15 key cities in February, up from seven in January. And staying in China, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank's dismissal of considering investing in New Zealand contrasts with a big investment to aid China. We may have contributed to its capital, but it is growing to be a China-benefit-only institution.
And China said it plans to build 5.8 mln subsidised homes this year to replace outdated public housing. This is more than one-third of the 15 mln such housing China said it will build over the next three years. On a population-adjusted basis, that is like the NZ Government building 18,000 new HNZ houses per year here.
We are getting a new central bank chief this month, and China is as well. They have named a technocrat to the post rather than someone with deep political links.
In Australia, the inquiry into the financial services industry turned up relatively little on the home lending side (and mostly on mortgage broking), but it is uncovering some serious issues on credit cards and insurance. The scandals revealed are likely to get worse.
In New York, the UST 10 yr yield is stable at 2.85%.
The gold price is little changed, up +US$3 and now at US$1,317/oz.
Oil prices are unchanged today as well with the US benchmark still just over US$62/bbl and the Brent benchmark now just over US$66/bbl. China reported that their crude oil production fell -4.1% in 2017. Their natural gas production jumped, but it is still small scale. China is vulnerable to energy imports.
The Kiwi dollar will start today little changed at 72.3 USc. On the cross rates we are up at 93.9 AUc (which, believe it or not is a 33 week high) and at 58.6 euro cents. That puts the TWI-5 at 73.5.
Bitcoin is now at US$8,382 which means the downward trend has revered and we are up +12% since this time yesterday.
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