Here are the key things you need to know before you leave work today.
MORTGAGE RATE CHANGES
No changes here today.
TERM DEPOSIT RATE CHANGES
None here either.
FRESH IS BEST & CHEAPER
In the year ended September 2018, food prices were basically unchanged (up just +0.1%). There were higher prices for ready-to-eat food (up +3.5%), and milk, cheese and eggs (up +2.2%). Prices decreased for vegetables (down -8.9%) and fruit (down -3.6%), which helped keep overall food inflation low for the year.
The latest tender of $250 mln for NZGB April 2029 bonds brought a higher yield for investors today of 2.63%. That is up on the 2.57% at the previous tender. More than $840 was bid giving a coverage ratio of just under 3.4x.
MORE TAXPAYER BORROWING
Housing New Zealand has launched a new minimum NZ$100 mln 10 year medium term note issue. And it wants to increase its existing 2.97% 06/23 notes (with a maximum of NZ$300m in aggregate to be issued across the two tranches).
NELSON STARS, BUT LIMP EVERYWHERE ELSE
The number of homes sold last month was the lowest in September since 2011 but prices remained flat, going nowhere. National median prices changed little from August and were up +5.9% year-on-year. In Auckland, volumes fell -2.1% and prices were unchanged from both August 2018 and September 2017. In every other region, volumes fell in September from August without exception. On the price front, half the country's regions saw small median price rises, the rest flat of declines. The most notable activity was in Nelson where volumes sold held flat, but prices took off higher. There were up +13% in September from August, and a whopping +23% than from September 2017.
A GLOBALLY IMPROVER
New Zealand has gained one place moving to 8th in the latest global ranking of national energy performance by the World Energy Trilemma Index. We are the only non-European country to rank in the global top ten. Canada ranks #13, the USA #14, and Australia, well they rank #38. This ranking measures three things; energy security, energy 'equity' (by which they mean affordability), and environmental sustainability of the energy sector.
DUE AN ACC REFUND?
If you were in your first year of self-employment between 2002 and 2017, or paid provisional ACC levies after ceasing trading, ACC may owe you a refund. ACC expects to refund around $100 million to approximately 300,000 business customers who were incorrectly charged levies during that time.
Both the Shanghai and Hong Kong stock exchange indexes have opened sharply lower today, Hong Kong down more than -3.6%, Shanghai down -3.4%. These follow Wall Street's greater-that-three-percent falls earlier in the day. Even the NZX is down -3% ahead of its close. There are ripple effects with the UST 10yr dropping sharply, and bitcoin taking a dive. These are all benchmarks that we will be watching well into the night. We will also be watching for signs of a rescue from China's 'home team' of SOE buyers to prop up their markets.
SWAP RATES SOFT AS BOND YIELDS DROP
Swap rates are unchanged for 2 years, down -1 bp for five years, and down -2 bps for ten years as we write. But things may well get turbulent as Asian markets play out. The UST 10yr has dropped -6 bps to 3.15% with the UST 2-10 curve holding at +32 bps. The Aussie Govt 10yr is at 2.73% (down -3 bps), the China Govt 10yr is at 3.63% (also down -3 bps), while the NZ Govt 10 yr is at 2.65%, and down -5 bps. All these yields are in play as we publish so further falls are possible before each market closes. The 90 day bank bill rate is up +1 bp again to 1.90%.
The bitcoin price has slumped to US$6,237 and down -6%. If you follow bitcoin and other cryptos, you might be interested in this.
The NZD is slightly softer today from this time yesterday, now at 64.7 USc and the same as we started when we opened this morning. On the cross rates we are firmer at 91.5 AUc, and softer 56.1 euro cents. The TWI-5 is at 68.8.
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