Here's our wrap of what's happened around the world overnight.
As Melania Trump gets sent to the US-Mexico border to visit a detention centre, immigration tensions continue to rise in Europe. Italy’s populist far-right interior minister is calling on the European Union to “defend its border”. He says Italy is ready to “renegotiate” its financial commitments to the bloc if more isn't done to curb Italy's migrant problems.
French President Emmanuel Macron has hit back, saying this rhetoric betrays European Union values. Yet Macron's calls are said to only be adding fuel to the fire, as European leaders are due to meet for immigration talks this weekend. German Chancellor Angela Merkel is under the pump to secure an EU deal on internal migrant flows to avoid her interior minister turning away migrants at Germany's border.
The Bank of England has left its current bank rate at 0.5%, but signalled an August rise is more likely than previously thought. Three of the bank's nine-person committee, including its chief economist, voted to raise the rate. This split has seen the value of the pound rise, and UK equities fall, as a stronger currency erodes the value of overseas earnings.
The Shanghai Composite closed at a two-year low on Thursday, as gains made earlier in the day ended up being short-lived. While the market found some solace in Chinese authorities saying they would use monetary policy tools to steady the economy, caution sparked by the China-US trade spat prevailed. Losses were led by tech firms.
The Philadelphia Federal Reserve’s gauge of US Mid-Atlantic business activity fell to a one-and-a-half year low in June, as the index experienced its steepest month-on-month fall in more than four years. While the broad indicators remained positive, indicators for general activity and new orders fell notably. The firms continued to report higher prices for purchased inputs and their own manufactured goods.
And finally, good wishes from around the world have been flowing to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and her partner Clarke Gayford, following the birth of their baby girl yesterday afternoon. Ardern is only the second serving prime minister in history to give birth. The situation sends a strong signal that both women and men can choose how they wish to juggle family and career commitments.
The UST 10yr yield is down slightly to 2.91%.
Gold has fallen to US$1,268/oz.
Oil is also down a little ahead of an APEC meeting. US crude is at US$66/bbl, while the Brent benchmark is at US$73/bbl.
Little movement in the New Zealand dollar overnight. It's slightly stronger at 68.9 USc, but remains at 93.1 AUc and 59.2 euro cents. The TWI-5 remains at 72.2.
ANZ economists expect the kiwi to continue to trade in a defensive manner. With the economy showing signs of cooling and global risk sentiment jittery, they say it’s hard to be too positive.
The price of Bitcoin has fallen to US$6,701.
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