Here's our summary of key events overnight that affect New Zealand, with news our second largest dairy co-operative may be about to be sold.
The board of Westland Co-operative Dairy Company has signed a conditional agreement to sell the struggling business to China-based Inner Mongolia Yili. The deal price values the business at NZ$588 mln. Yili owns South Canterbury-based Oceania Dairy, into which it has invested more than $650 mln. Westland's board says it 'engaged 25 other' potential buyers in the sale process before choosing Yili. Farmer shareholders will need to approve, as will the High Court. Like all co-operatives, Westland has struggled with its ability to invest in the business and to build any meaningful retained earnings for such investment.
China is not selling out of its holdings in US Treasury debt. In fact, if anything, it is building them. For a second straight month in January after five months of declines, and amid trade negotiations between the two largest economies, their holdings rose to US$1.1 tln.
A new report on counterfeit goods by the OECD found trade in fakes has increased over the past three years and now represents 3.3% of world trade, or more than NZ$800 bln in annual flows. The internet enables it.
In Europe, the two largest banks in Germany have taken their merger plans public. But it is not exactly a match that many are enthusiastic about.
In Norway, their central bank is about to review interest rates and a hike is expected to take it to 1.0%. That will make it the second such rise in the past six months.
In Australia, analysts are anticipating that the fear of not getting out is about to take hold in some key property markets, and that listings in Melbourne and Sydney will rise as investors rush to sell. The investor metrics that accepted wafer-thin investment returns in a rising market, won't accept them in a falling market.
In world equity markets, the direction - like the currency and bonds markets - is sideways. Most however are maintaining a minor set of gains in trading so far today.
The UST 10yr yield is little-changed at 2.60%. Their 2-10 curve is still at +15 bps while their negative 1-5 curve is now at -10 bps. The Aussie Govt 10yr is down -1 bp to 1.97%, the China Govt 10yr is also lower by -1 bp at 3.15%, while the NZ Govt 10 yr is unchanged at 2.10%.
Gold is also unchanged at US$1,302.
US oil prices are marginally firmer, now just over US$59/bbl while the Brent benchmark is just over US$67.50/bbl.
The Kiwi dollar is at 68.5 USc and little-changed as well overnight. On the cross rates we are marginally weaker at 96.5 AUc. Against the euro we are still at 60.4 euro cents. That holds the TWI-5 at 73.
Bitcoin is unchanged at US$3,968. This rate is charted in the exchange rate set below. The first market exchange to trade in bitcoin futures has pulled the plug on the market.
The easiest place to stay up with event risk today is by following our Economic Calendar here ».
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