Here are the key things you need to know before you leave work today.
MORTGAGE RATE CHANGES
None so far today.
TERM DEPOSIT RATE CHANGES
None here either.
BUSINESSES LESS GLOOMY, NOT MORE HAPPY
Business sentiment and demand pick up in the December quarter from low levels, according to the NZIER; Weak profitability remains a problem. ANZ says today’s data are consistent with their view that the economy is not performing well enough to achieve a durable lift in inflation. "We see the RBNZ cutting the OCR late this year to give the economy a pick-me-up."
5+ A DAY IS CHEAPER
Food prices are not rising - in fact healthy food prices are lower now than at the start of 2018. Better weather conditions kept prices of fruit & vegetables considerably lower
LONG SERVING BNZ EXECUTIVE LEAVING
Long serving BNZ executive Shelley Ruha is leaving the bank. BNZ says Ruha, chief customer officer for its partners business, will leave on February 28. Ruha has worked for BNZ for 29 years starting in 1990 as a graduate in the bank's Dominion Road branch in Auckland.
There is another dairy auction tomorrow morning. Indications from the derivatives market are that we could be in for a good, positive one. WMP might lead the way up with a +4% or so rise. But be aware, the derivatives market has given false signals before.
ANOTHER AUSSIE RATE RISE
In Australia, another second-tier bank has lifted mortgage rates y about +20 bps. NAB-owned U-Bank is the next to move up, following Virgin Money. The out-of-cycle rate pressure is building in Australia and it seems it is just a matter of time before one of the big banks moves up as well.
EQUITY MARKET MOVES
Following yesterday's lonely rise by the NZX50, the S&P500 fell again today by -0.5% following the Europeans. But Tokyo is up in early trading today by +0.4%, Hong Kong is up by +0.8% while Shanghai is only level pegging. The ASX is up +0.4% after yesterday's fall, but the NZX50 keeps on rising even if it is only +0.1% today.
MOVE OVER GOLD
Gold prices are moving up, but the big mover among precious metals is for palladium. This metal has real industrial uses - one big one is in catalytic converters for cars. Demand is strong and has pushed its price up to US$1,337/oz in London and that compares with US$1,293 for gold (85% of who's demand is for speculation).
SWAP RATES DRIFT DOWN
Local wholesale swap rates are soft again today. That pushes the short end to new all-time lows with the 2yr now below 1.90%. The UST 10yr yield is little-changed at 2.71%, stable in very light trade. Their 2-10 curve is just under +17 bps. The Aussie Govt 10yr is at 2.29% and unchanged, the China Govt 10yr is down-1 bp at 3.15%, while the NZ Govt 10 yr is at 2.32%, and down -2 bps.. The 90 day bank bill rate is down -2 bps to 1.91%.
The bitcoin price has moved higher today, now at US$3,668 and that is a gain of +4.2%.
The Kiwi dollar is holding its level in light trading at 68.4 USc. On the cross rates, we also little-changed against the Aussie at 94.8 AUc and are still at 59.5 euro cents. That puts the TWI-5 marginally higher at 72.3.
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