Here are the key things you need to know before you leave work today:
MORTGAGE RATE CHANGES
No changes to report today.
TERM DEPOSIT RATE CHANGES
Westpac has dropped five selected term deposit rates for particular terms from 3 months to 18 months. The cuts are a combination of -5 and -10 bps. They are touting their existing 3.50% nine month rate, pointing out they will give the helicopter trusts $10 for each TD signup. If you that motivates you, just know that the break-even between their 3.50% offer and ANZ's 3.55% eight month offer is a $38,000 deposit. If you have more than that, you will be better off taking ANZ's offer and donating $10 to the Trust of your choice. But less than that, the Westpac offer is the more generous.
VISITOR NUMBERS SLIP
Because of the way holidays fell in March and April this year and last, April 2018 visitor arrivals fell -8,000 to 283,900 compared with the same month last year. The numbers fell for the majority of countries except China, with the most significant changes to Australia which was down -20,800 to 109,800, Britain which was down -3,400 to 12,700, and the United States (down -2,600 to 22,300). Chinese visitor numbers were up +7,200 to 46,500 in April 2018.
MONTHLY MIGRATION GAIN SMALLEST SINCE 2104
Rising numbers of non-New Zealanders are continuing to leave, pushing net migration down from high levels to an annual gain of 67,000 in April, down nearly 5000 from a year earlier.
ANZ BONDS OFFERING 3.71% TO 3.76%
ANZ says it'll pay a margin of 1% to 1.05% on an impending five-year bond issue. Based on Monday's five-year swap rate, that's an interest rate for investors of 3.71% to 3.76% p.a. The bank's seeking to borrow at least $100 million through the issue of unsecured unsubordinated fixed rate bonds, but has given itself the option of accepting unlimited oversubscriptions. The bonds are expected to be issued on May 30.
FASTER COST INCREASES
The price of petrol is rising fast. In Wellington and the South Island, prices are now over $2.30/L for UL91. This price was under $2/L less than four weeks ago.
MPB HITS FARM SALES HARD
Farm sales are down -28 in April 2018 from April 2017. That is 45 fewer transactions, and the lowest in eight years. The biggest drop is in finishing farms. The region with the biggest fall is Otago, followed by Northland. The unresolved risks surrounding microplasma bovis will be weighing on this market, and it is likely to get worse.
TOWNIES STILL BUYING
Sales of lifestyle blocks are actually improving year-on-year, up to 643 in April. That was bolstered by very strong sales in the Waikato and Manawatu regions.
RETAIL DOES IT TOUGH
Retail sales growth hit a five year low in the March quarter, coming in at only +3.4%. Most sectors posted skinny growth, the exceptions being food (+7.0%), supermarkets (+41%), and electronics (+9.4%).
BENCHMARK INTEREST RATES DOWN
Local swap rates are down -2 bps for two years, down -3 bps for five years and down -4 bps for 10 years. The UST 10yr yield has risen to 3.06%, unchanged today. The Aussie Govt 10 yr is now at 2.87% (down -7 bps). The China 10 yr is at 3.74%, down -1 bp. And the NZ Govt 10 yr is down -2 bps at 2.86%. The 90 day bank bill rate is down -2 bps at 1.98% and the first time below 2% in over a month.
The bitcoin price is now at US$8,473 which is up +6.2% from this time yesterday on Friday.
NZ DOLLAR UNCHANGED
The NZD is now at 69.1 USc and unchanged since the opening today. We are also little changed against the Aussie at 91.7 AUc, or at 58.8 euro cents. That has the TWI-5 at 72.1.
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