Here's our summary of key events overnight that affect New Zealand, with news Wall Street is up strongly today, especially tech stocks. Benchmark bond yields have retreated.
Meanwhile, the US trade balance in goods came in lower than markets were expecting for March at -US$68 bln and -10% lower than for February. However, it was slightly higher than for March 2017.
March American durable goods orders grew more than market expectations but not as fast as for February, so this is a slight slowdown in growth.
However, new orders for American-made capital goods actually fell in March, weighed down by the biggest decline in demand for machinery in nearly two years, and a drop in shipments confirmed the view that business spending pulled back in the March quarter.
For households, updated data shows their home ownership rate unchanged at 64.2% (New Zealand's is 62.7%) but the average rent jumped to US$954/month (NZ$311/week), one of its largest rises on record.
North in Toronto, Canada, the number of homes sold to foreign buyers has dropped steadily over the year since the province introduced a 15% tax on such purchases, falling from 7.2% of sales in May, 2017, to 2.5% over a three-month period ending in February. The average price of a home in the Greater Toronto Area was just more than C$920,000 last April, but by March of this year had fallen to around C$785,000, a decline of more than -14% driven by plummeting sales volumes.
In Frankfurt, the ECB reviewd its monetary policy positions and in the end decided to leave all its QE arrangements in place unchanged. It says it wants to be sure the upturn in the European economy is for real.
In China, a ministry of Commerce spokesman said China is ready to hit back at the US if the American start imposing investment restrictions on their companies.
And this comes as signs of a mild slowdown appear in the Chinese economy.
We should also note that HNA is now expected to sell the TIP Trailer Services division that was trying to buy UDC. It is a business it purchased from GE, but it now needs to sell to pay down growing debts. An American private equity firm is expected to be the purchaser.
The UST 10yr yield has slipped and is now at 2.99% (-4 bps). However, the Chinese 10yr is higher at 3.64% (+2 bps) and the New Zealand equivalent is at 2.95% (up +4 bps).
Gold is at US$1,317/oz in New York, and down another -US$4.
Oil prices are a little higher today and now just over US$68/bbl and the Brent benchmark just under US$75/bbl.
The Kiwi dollar is unchanged at its lower level of 70.7 USc. On the cross rates we pretty much unchanged as well at 93.5 AUc and 58.4 euro cents. That puts the TWI-5 at 72.8.
Bitcoin is now at US$8,848 which -1.9% lower than this time yesterday..
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