US job openings rise; Canada housing starts fall; China trade surplus up; Swiss jobless rate down; Argentina needs IMF support; AU Budget delivers tax cuts; UST 10yr at 2.97%; oil down, gold up; NZ$1 = 69.7 USc; TWI-5 = 72.5

US job openings rise; Canada housing starts fall; China trade surplus up; Swiss jobless rate down; Argentina needs IMF support; AU Budget delivers tax cuts; UST 10yr at 2.97%; oil down, gold up; NZ$1 = 69.7 USc; TWI-5 = 72.5

Here's our summary of key events overnight that affect New Zealand, with news of a major Aussie pre-election budget sweetener focused on tax cuts.

But first, all the news headlines are about the Americans walking away from the Iran deal, but in the real economy the number of job openings in the US rose above 6.5 mln in March, far above analysts estimates.

Still, Wall Street was down more than -½% on the news, although near the close, the losses are being pared.

Canadian housing starts fell -4.9% in April, marking the fourth monthly decline in five months, on declines in construction of both single-detached homes and multiunit dwellings.

China reported a trade surplus of US$28.8 bln in April, a sharp seasonal turnaround from the -US$5 bln deficit in March. However, it logged a surplus of US$22.2 bln against the United States and that widened from a surplus of $15.4 bln in the previous month, marking its first month-on-month rise since November. But this gain is more to do with the timing of the Chinese New Year holiday that actual trade growth. With their largest export market slowing - the EU - China's trade prospects are facing a general slowdown, even without what the Americans are doing. (You can see that in the airfreight data, although surprisingly, the Baltic Dry index is still relatively high, which is a puzzle.)

And in Beijing, China's main banks have raised mortgage rates for first home buyers to 4.79%, a rise of +22 bps. (And remember, these are leasehold arrangements; there is no ownership of the land involved.)

The Swiss jobless rate dropped to 2.7%, and they have a relatively high participation rate of 68.6%. (New Zealand's numbers are 4.4% and 70.8%.)

The German current account surplus for March came in at €29.1 bln, slightly lower than the €32.7 bln in the same month in 2017. It's a strong result again, keeping Germany on its collision course with the US. However, almost 59% of their exports go to other EU countries, with the US being a customer for only 7.4% of them, a smaller proportion than China.

Argentina has begun talks with the IMF for a new US$30 bln credit line as they try to contain a resumption of the depreciation of their currency. Raising benchmark interest rates to 40% only worked for a few days.

The latest Australian Budget has announced tax cuts for most people, but higher costs for business. Personal rates are being cut for about 10 mln people, tax brackets are being adjusted, and system is being 'flattened'. The Budget also envisages a return to surplus in the year after next. There is a significant addition to spending on aged care, and there is more spending for roads and some rail projects. There are no significant increases in charges, fees or other taxes. And there is a clampdown on the cash economy. Payments over $10,000 in cash will become illegal.

The UST 10yr yield is at 2.97%. It was touching just under 3% earlier, but the US's decision on the Iran deal has seen it fall back somewhat. The Chinese 10yr is up to 3.70% (+3 bps) while the New Zealand equivalent is at 2.78% (down -1 bp).

Gold is at US$1,316/oz in New York, up just a couple of dollars

Oil prices however have fallen more than -US$1 in the US to US$69.50/bbl but a little less for the Brent benchmark which is now at US$75.50/bbl.

The Kiwi dollar is down ½c against the greenback at 69.7 USc and breaching the 70 USc mark for the first time since December 2017. On the cross rates we are fairly stable however, still at 93.6 AUc and 58.7 euro cents. That does put the TWI-5 down to 72.5 however.

Bitcoin is however at US$9,227 and that is a net fall of -2% since this time yesterday.

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6 Comments

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how do you enforce illegal cash payments? i suspect those paying 10k in cash also receive a lot of cash so how do you keep track.
i.e next time you buy a morning paper watch where the change comes from, is it sitting on top of the till

Goodpoint sharetrader. But is there any need for traders to avoid putting cash in the till. I've never heard of an IRD detective hiding behind the shelves noting where your $2.50 of coin goes. IRD has no hope of tracing these things as there is a total absence of boots on the ground.
They are confined to desks these days looking at screens. Hard enough to track even the electronic trans actions.
If the IRD had enforcement that was in any way effective, then for example those immigration employment torts would be stopped dead. But really they are pretty much universal.

Officials in the US called out for saying one thing in their bond offerings and the opposite when virtue signalling their climate doom porn prophesies. Bit like the Obama, Gore, Flannery, Gillard beach front houses but with real money.

"It might be embarrassing, but California officials need to address their inconsistent claims, says Dan Lungren, California’s attorney general from 1991-1999 who recently penned an opinion piece on the subject in the Sacramento Bee.

Sued over the alleged future effects of climate change, Exxon’s argument (which has been signed off on by a Texas judge) is that the cities and counties alleging these impending disasters have failed to disclose them in their bond offerings.

“If this was happening in the private sector, I think I’d have a lawsuit for fraud,” said Lungren, who has also spent 18 years in the U.S. House of Representatives."

https://www.forbes.com/sites/legalnewsline/2018/05/02/hold-government-to...

Australia reduces taxes and implements measures to prevent bracket creep.

New Zealand rescinds tax cuts and does nothing to prevent bracket creep.

Watch net migration from NZ to Aus climb and climb over the next few years.

In addition the cost of goods is getting cheaper in Australia as there is more competition from the likes of Aldi. Kaufland is coming next in the supermarket space.

This is a very interesting piece on Russia.
https://surplusenergyeconomics.wordpress.com/2018/05/08/124-riddle-myste...
The conclusion Russia is comparatively well placed to handle the next crash.. compared to the basket case that is Europe. Resources per capita....