A review of things you need to know before you go home on Monday; some rate cuts, retail sales sluggish, Norwegian blues, ANZ finds cheap funding, swaps lower & flatter, NZD firm, & more

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

SBS Bank reduced its 18 month fixed rate to 4.25%, bringing it into line with most other banks.

The Police Credit Union trimmed -5 bps from its nine month rate offer, taking it to 3.40%.

The slow, long-term sagging of retail sales as measured by electronic card transactions continued in February with overall levels just +3.3% higher than the same month a year ago. Last year that metric was growth of +4.3% and the average for the five February's prior to 2019 was +5.0%. People are using their cards for lower value transactions and the average is down to $49.50/transaction, similar to January but this average was $51.34 in 2016. Transaction volumes are up +4.0% in a year, up almost +17% since 2016. But take out the petrol impact and most analysts see this February data just smoothing out the poor December data and the stellar January data.

In Australia, the ASX200 is down about -0.4% today and much of that drop is being attributed to Norway's sovereign wealth fund who last week announced a pullback from investments in coal and oil stocks.

We have updated the performance data that drives our KiwiSaver analysis to February 2019.

ANZ has launched a $100 mln bond offer (and could accept unlimited over-subscriptions) at 1.05% to 1.10% over the five year swap rate, which today is 1.98%. So it will end up yielding something less than 3.10% (probably about 3.03%). Given that ANZ offers term deposit customers 3.60% for five year money, it is hard to understand why investors are attracted. But we expect this offer to be substantially oversubscribed.

Local swap rates aren't moving much today, but the small shifts there are down, and for further flattening. The 10 year is still at a record low of 2.37%. The UST 10yr yield is unchanged today at just under 2.63%. Their 2-10 curve is unchanged at +16 bps while their 1-5 curve remains more inverted at -9 bps. The Aussie Govt 10yr keeps going down, today by another -3 bps to 2.01%, the China Govt 10yr is down -2 bps to 3.16%, while the NZ Govt 10 yr is down -2 bps so far today to 2.10%. The 90 day bank bill rate is unchanged at 1.88%.

The bitcoin price is higher today, up +1.2% to US$3,906.

The NZD has drifted around today after rising early in the weekend, now at 67.9 USc. And we are holding high against the Aussie at 96.7 AUc, and holding at 60.5 euro cents. That puts the TWI-5 up marginally to at 72.8.

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Source: CoinDesk

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Norwegian Blues ? ... isn't that a flock of parrots ... they're not dead , they're just pining for the fjords ...

... the parrot in the Ozzie coal mine ... telling us that the future of coal is all black ... dead black ...


Welcome back. Your off the wall sense of humour is a breath of fresh air. Too many,myself included,often take ourselves much too seriously.

It is ironic that the Norwegian sovereign wealth fund that was built with oil and gas money has ethical concerns about investing in oil! Still if I was them I’d be limiting my exposure to that industry as well.

Any I thought the only Python skit we'd ever see on here was the argument skit... nice.

jeez I was just watching some Python before, always good when you need / want a laugh.
Just mad!

B&T auction clearance rate for Auckland 35% for last week. 10% at the Pukekohe Auction, and 67% at one of the Shortland Street Auctions (Balanced out by the other shortland street auctions being in the mid 20% range)

Our Norwegian friends aren't as green as they'd like the world to think


Aussie media on how the debt mountain is being expanded in a desperate attempt to maintain asset prices globally and in Australia (yes NZ, we're not isolated or spushel). Very good read and congrats to the ABC for actually showing some balls. Getting more difficult to deny the existence of a debt-fuelled housing bubbles.


Thanks JC. Yep ABC are waking up to the issue if no one else is. Our politicians still squabbling today about the poor return of 38 kiwibuild sales from 69 completed houses without recognising the fundamental issues. You may like this as a read, the pace of household debt growth in China and that’s not total private debt is also quite astonishing.


My thoughts exactly J.C. "There's a very simple reason the Reserve Bank couldn't and can't raise interest rates.
There's too much debt."

Not exactly a secret but nobody wants to talk about it openly

... a total of 25 children have been spotted with measles in Canterbury ...

Thanks for nothing , all those drongos who refuse to have their kids immunised !

Hopefully none of them end up like this one.. Oh, and a perfect example of parents that need a dose of education with a clue-by-four. Even after this they wouldn't vaccinate the kid, and according to another story, he's not the only kid they have.


(edit: yes i'm aware this is tetanus and not measles.. )

Those in the pro-plague community put the rest of the community at risk.

Perhaps all those who wish to be pro-plague should be living together in one community away from the rest of the yet to be immunised community. Akin to a permanent quarantine and for the safety of those who wish to be immunised ...

Shouldn't be hard to implement..if you can round up enough of them you'd only need permanent housing for about 30% of them.

Interesting dynamic. Depending on the area it seems to be split between conservative religious anti-vaxxers and wealthy hippy anti-vaxxers.

oooo yuck, wealthy hippies...one of the most detestable things!