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
No changes here either, but we missed reporting on Friday that Heartland Bank lowered all its term deposit rates by between -5 and -20 bps across the board.
PSI SIGNALS CONCERNS
The last three months have brought the slowest expansion of our services sector since late 2012. Today's release of the August data confirms that. New orders are lowish but not at the bottom of the recent range. But more worryingly, the employment data is very low - the second month out of three recording a contraction, and the lowest since coming out of the GFC in 2012. On top of the 'stalling' employment data from factories, this is not data that should be ignored. The BusinessNZ analysis is here.
RACING PAST US
The number of visitors to Australia from China in the year to July has knocked the number from New Zealand out of 'first place'. There were 1.373 mln Kiwi visitors to the Lucky Country in the year to July, up +1.4% from the previous year. There were 1.425 mln Chinese visitors to Australia in the same period and that grew +10.6% from the previous year.
Data from real estate agency Harcourts shows they sold more homes in August but average prices were down in some centres including Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. Their CEO picks 'an upturn shortly. Harcourts average Auckland price dropped to lowest level in 2 years, consistent with recent REINZ data.
MORE & FASTER
New data shows that of the 1,373,457 customers who can access ultra fast broadband by a fibre connection, 44% have done so. There are also indications that more customers are choosing faster connections.
Former Prime Minister Jenny Shipley (and NZ's first female PM) was in court today defending a claim Mainzeal Construction traded while insolvent. She was its chairman at the time it folded. Liquidators hope the directors' professional liability insurance will allow them to recover up to $75 mln for creditors, many of them unpaid subcontractors. But the case is as much about the standards of governance and care owed by company directors towards the company and creditors as the monetary claim.
CORPORATE BOND RUSH
Swelling household bank deposits are attracting corporate interest, looking for cheaper funding than from bank loans. Property For Industry (PFI is seeking up to $100 mln in a new unrated seven year bonds with a minimum interest rate of 4.15%. And Summerset Group has raised $125 mln of seven year bonds, and these yielded 4.20% pa.
DRYING OUT QUICKLY
A quick check of the soil moisture map below shows an early Spring that is dryer than normal, nationwide. However, the Soputhern Oscillation Index is not yet pointing to either a La Nina, or El Nino pattern developing.
SWAP RATES STEEPER
Swap rates rose and steepened today with rates to three years up +1 bp and longer rates up +2 bps. The UST 10yr is up at 3.00%. The UST 2-10 curve still just above +21 bps. The Aussie Govt 10yr is at 2.63% (up +2 bps), the China Govt 10yr is at 3.67% (down -1 bp), while the NZ Govt 10 yr is at 2.60%, and up +2 bps. The 90 day bank bill rate is unchanged at 1.88%.
BITCOIN LITTLE CHANGED
The bitcoin price is little changed at US$6,512.
The NZD is now at 65.5 USc. On the cross rates we are unchanged at 91.6 AUc, and at 56.3 euro cents. That puts the TWI-5 at 69.4.
This chart is animated here. For previous users, the animation process has been updated and works better now.