Here's our summary of key events overnight that affect New Zealand, with news American investors have suddenly taken fright.
In international economies there is a dearth of data so markets are reacting to the political.
Wall Street has returned from its long weekend in a grumpy mood. The S&P500 is down a sharp -1.6% and dropping. Corporate earnings reports aren't helping, and the mood has suddenly soured on the prospects for a successful US-China trade deal.
In the US, existing home sales have come in much weaker in December than expected. In fact, December 2018 sales are -10.4% lower than the same month a year ago, a miss far greater than the small decline analysts were counting on. That's a 3 year low. Median price gains are slowing, and are now up just +2.9% on this year-on-year basis, barely edging inflation - and in the Mid-West and West they couldn't even do that. Housing market confidence is leaking away fast in the US. And it doesn't help the overall mood that this is the only national data available. This list of shutdown-affected economic statistics has grown to eleven major releases.
But not everyone thinks a US housing market slowdown will affect them much.
On trade, the recently re-negotiated NAFTA deal is facing headwinds in being ratified in Congress.
In the EU, their competition regulator has fined Mastercard almost NZ$1 bln (€570 mln) for preventing retailers from accessing lower fees.
China has reported that its birth rate is falling sharply. In fact, at just 15.2 mln births in 2018 that is the lowest birth rate in almost 60 years. The 2018 rate was marginally over 1%. This is just another sinking Chinese statistic. For reference, New Zealand's birth rate is 1.2%.
In Australia, the release of the Hayne Inquiry report is now very close. And the opposition Labor Party - which on current polling is likely to be the Government in 2019 - says it will carry out all the recommendations, saying it would need a "very, very, very good reason" not to adopt any finding. The Liberal coalition government hasn't made commitments yet.
The UST 10yr yield is lower today at 2.73% and a fall of -6 bps and sinking as fast as equities. Their 2-10 curve has dipped to under +16 bps. The Aussie Govt 10yr is at 2.30% and down -1 bp, the China Govt 10yr is up +2 bps at 3.13%, while the NZ Govt 10 yr is at 2.36% and up +1 bp.
Gold is up +US$3 to US$1,283/oz.
US oil prices are down sharply today at just on US$52/bbl while the Brent benchmark is just on US$61/bbl. These are both falls of almost -US$2/bbl.
The Kiwi dollar little-changed at 67.2 USc. On the cross rates, we little-changed against the Aussie at 94.3 AUc and holding at 59.2 euro cents. That leaves the TWI-5 at 71.5.
Bitcoin is at US$3,577 and up about +1% from this time yesterday. This rate is charted in the exchange rate set below.
This chart is animated here.
The easiest place to stay up with event risk today is by following our Economic Calendar here ».