A review of things you need to know before you go home on Friday; rate changes from ASB and Kiwibank, dairy jolt, PMI dive, fuel tax bite, swaps fall sharply again, NZD falls too

Here are the key things you need to know before you leave work today.

ASB has launched a 4 year 'special' rate, well below its rivals.

Kiwibank have changed their 200 day TD rate, raising it from 3.25% to 3.40%, a +15 bps rise.

Today Fonterra slashed its dividend and trimmed its milk price. Fonterra says its dividend will be just 10c, down from 40c previously indicated, while the final milk price for season just gone has been cut to $6.70 from the expected $6.75. The Shareholders' Council says situation is 'unacceptable'. You can put the milk price and dividend rates into perspective here.

Reinforcing the various falling business confidence surveys, today's factory PMI index for July has fallen into contraction territory on an 'actual' basis, the first time for a July since 2012. The seasonally adjusted level is not showing a contraction but the expansion it records is very weak. As BNZ notes, being a survey of actual activity – not confidence or expectations – the PMI results through June and July are not a good look for overall economic growth. A Government charm offensive is on the way.

On the other hand, consumers are still spending, ignoring the business gloom. Transactions via electronic cards were +4.7% higher in July than the same month a year ago, and that is a faster rate of growth than we saw in the year to June. But much of that can be attributed to the +11.5 new petrol tax excise in Auckland which saw fuel spending jump more than +18% year-on-year. Hospitality has a +4.5% rise, service a +6.9% rise. But it is bad news for clothing, down -5.8%, and consumer durables, up only +1.6%. Basically the fuel tax increase is sucking the life out of the other retail sectors.

International guest nights fell -8.2%
in June 2018 compared with June 2017, when the Lions rugby tour boosted guest nights. These falling international guest nights caused a -1.8% decrease in total guest nights spent in short-term commercial accommodation, compared with June 2017.

Today's April 2029 NZ Government bond tender for $250 mln was wildly popular receiving bids exceeding $870 mln or 3.5x covered. It is only the second time the 2029 has been offered and this time it delivered a yield of 2.59%, down from the 2.86% in the initial tender in July.

Co-op Money, the credit union industry association, says the Reserve Bank has approved the sale its life insurance business to Pinnacle Life. The Reserve Bank had previously approved the sale of Co-op Insurance's non-life business to Provident Insurance. Co-op Money is facing significant financial challenges and its insurance business has been required to hold a minimum of $5 million in solvency capital.

The Government has changed course in the international education sector. The new Strategy "recognises a maturing industry and strikes a balance between sustainable growth and marking a clear commitment to student experience. The focus on wellbeing and student experience supports our ongoing efforts to lift quality across the system" they claim. "In line with this Government’s commitment to measure success and wellbeing more broadly, the Strategy provides a stronger focus on social and cultural outcomes for New Zealand, alongside the economic benefits."

Most major stock market indexes in our time zone are slightly lower today, following Wall Street down. But surprisingly, the NZX is the exception, up +0.4% today

For readers frustrated with access to our service, our apologies. Yes, we have been fighting server gremlins all day. We aren't sure we are on top of it, even now.

If you thought yesterday's wholesale rate fall was impressive, well today these rates have fallen further, by about -7 bps more across the whole curve. That takes the two year rate back to levels we last saw (very briefly) in August 2016. The five year swap rate is now back to levels last seen in October 2016, and the ten year is back to November 2016 levels. One thing that hasn't reverted however is the curve; we are now just under +90 bps for the 2-10 curve and it has been like that for more than a year. Meanwhile, international rates are on the move lower for their separate reasons. The UST 10yr is weaker and now at 2.93%, down -2 bps from where it was this time yesterday and pushing their 2-10 curve lower, now at +27 bps and erasing the steepening of the past month. Remember this curve was positive +120 bps at the start of 2017 so its been basically downhill since then. The Aussie Govt 10yr is at 2.63% (down -2 bps), the China Govt 10yr is at 3.58% going the other way and up another +4 bps, while the NZ Govt 10 yr is at 2.63%, dropping a heavy -6 bps on top of yesterday's -9 bps. The 90 day bank bill rate is unchanged at 1.91%.

The bitcoin price is now at US$6,530 and up +3.6% from where it was this time yesterday.

The NZD slumped again today on the Fonterra announcement. We are now just on 66 USc, so from the start of the week we are down -1½c or -2.3%. That is the largest one-week fall since October 2017 (when the Coalition Government was announced). We are holding on the cross rates at 89.7 AUc, and the euro at 57.3 euro cents. That leaves the TWI-5 up just under 69.8.

This chart is animated here. For previous users, the animation process has been updated and works better now.

Daily exchange rates

Select chart tabs »
The 'US$' chart will be drawn here.
Daily benchmark rate
Source: RBNZ
The 'AU$' chart will be drawn here.
Daily benchmark rate
Source: RBNZ
The 'TWI' chart will be drawn here.
Daily benchmark rate
Source: RBNZ
The '¥en' chart will be drawn here.
Daily benchmark rate
Source: RBNZ
The '¥uan' chart will be drawn here.
Daily benchmark rate
Source: RBNZ
The '€uro' chart will be drawn here.
Daily benchmark rate
Source: RBNZ
The 'GBP' chart will be drawn here.
Daily benchmark rate
Source: RBNZ
The 'Bitcoin' chart will be drawn here.
End of day UTC
Source: CoinDesk

We welcome your help to improve our coverage of this issue. Any examples or experiences to relate? Any links to other news, data or research to shed more light on this? Any insight or views on what might happen next or what should happen next? Any errors to correct?

We welcome your comments below. If you are not already registered, please register to comment or click on the "Register" link below a comment.

Remember we welcome robust, respectful and insightful debate. We don't welcome abusive or defamatory comments and will de-register those repeatedly making such comments. Our current Comment policy is here.


What an exciting week it's been. We may need to have weekly roundups over the next couple of months with the stories coming thick and fast at the moment. Thanks again interest.co.nz team for the expansive coverage and for a good number of contributors for some excellent information.. Anyone else getting a sense of 'opportunities' on the horizon?

Lunch today was a 'Big Mac' - What do they put in that 'special' sauce that makes that taste of America so appealing?

Nic, The closest thing to Big Mac sauce without having to buy a Big Mac can be found at Countdown.


Looks like International Education Private Training Establishments are about to have the same mind numbing performance criteria that the polytechnics struggle under.
That fair and it should finish a few of them off.
Not sure where that leaves the Industry Training Organisations, they deserve the same treatment.

TWI - 71.46, Treasury BEFU assumption 'around 75'
WTI - 66.62 Treasury BEFU assumption 'around 60'

Whack a mole afternoon as multiple currencies get the mallet. Euro under pressure as banks exposure to Turkey comes to forefront.

Well goodness me – the mid-winter sale on the NZ$ has returned as an explosive super spring sale – Harvey Norman step aside please.

Most fortunate for those that kept their wallets (there’s an anachronism) shut and are now prepared to buy.

However, this reality adjustment may still have some distance to go – low 60’s to the US$ by year end some say.

I really wonder about Orr and this inflation look through carry on – he might think “good to go”, but will the world’s traders - questionable I think – like it or not - the necessary adjustment is under way – juiced consumerism is not going to be a “happy place” for the foreseeable future.

“Rockstar” – mate “you’re dreamin”.

David, regards this mornings claim "the US Treasury saying it will sell an eye-popping US$122 bln in new debt next week"


Wow, overnight NZ property just got much cheaper for overseas buyers thanks to diving Kiwi. Wonder if there’ll be a late rush to get in before the foreign buying bill is passed. Of course, once u buy and Kiwi keeps croaking, will be a bummer. And it must be a worry for those currently trying to sell & get their $ out. Stress city, man.

To whom it may concern..

I missed your Hiring Journalistic needs. THIS FRIDAY....so am applying late.

I could be 'Interested".

Would I be paid in real dollars, New Zealand, (Diving)...USA...(Pumped)....Euros (Falling), Pounds (of little Interest, but a sterling effort), or that other world currency..the Chinese Renmimbi ...........(yaun..but of little avail outside of China)

Would I have to live in Awkland, if so can you lend me a deposit, or two, for a rental plus my own Mcmansion.

Would I have to work hard, play hard, if so can I have a boat, as I could not get to work early, as via car and no real public transport as all sitting on Awkland motorway, for hours...

I would expect to be paid for shipping costs.

I can commute from Sydney, if the price is right, the seas, not too rough, the Aussie Banks, not to shaky and the seas calm, all year round.

Do you pay Ladies the same as Men??...I am transgender....so please abide by my wishes....I can swing both ways.

Do you allow sarcasm, and individual policy statements on currency matters.

What matters do you find abhorrent. Inflation?, De-flation, ? ..Stag-flation?? or is a red line put through the last two...I have underlined them.

Are Houses allowed to be mentioned elsewhere...besides Awkland, and the Caymans...is whitewash still an issue with any others...or is dry rot, wet rot and level pegging, with big changes still allowed.

Can we count on Politicians of left and right to flipping talk about Houses, or is that flatly absurd.

Can I also mention, I am in need of a substantial pay rise, each Birthday....April the First...and my anniversary...Friday the 13th....instead of working for .........Nowt......as per usual.