Here's our summary of key events overnight that affect New Zealand, with news of more evidence the global slowdown is spreading.
In the US, there was a bit of a surprise in the data released in their JOLTS report. The number of job openings fell rather sharply, down by more than -500,000 at the end of February and way below expectations. This is the biggest fall since 2015 and the overall level is now at an 11 month low. One of President Trump's earlier advisers once said, "this is the one report everyone in Washington [watches]".
Equity prices are falling today after the US President threatened tariffs on European goods, while a cut in the IMF's global growth forecast, especially for first-world economies, fanned worries of a slowdown.
Wall Street is down -0.7% so far today in late afternoon trade. European bourses were down a similar amount. Yesterday Asian markets were generally stable.
The IMF says the world economy is at "a delicate moment" and they have downgraded their growth forecasts for 2019 - again. Now they say growth will be +3.3% rather than the earlier +3.5% with lower forecasts for the US (+2.3%), the EU (+1.3%), Latin America (+1.4%), Canada (+1.5%), and Australia (+2.1%). For New Zealand, their updated growth forecast is +2.5% in 2019. They still see China growing at +6.3% this year, and India growing at +7.3%.
The US Administration is weighing imposing up to US$11 bln in new tariffs on the EU as part of their defense of Boeing and attack on Airbus. It is a move that would represent a significant escalation of transatlantic trade tensions, but is also consistent with its downgrading of relationships with countries once considered allies.
Speaking of Boeing, total orders, an indication of future demand, fell to 95 aircraft in the first quarter from 180 a year earlier. Deliveries fell -19% in the quarter. 737 MAX issues are obviously behind this retreat.
The EU and China seem to be moving toward a stronger trade relationship.
In Australia, ratings agency Moody's is warning of the consequences of a too-sudden fall in house prices.
Official Australian data shows that the value of new lending commitments to households fell a chunky -8.8% in the year to February 2019 from the same period a year ago. Worse, February alone as down more than -15% from the same month in 2018. Lending commitments to businesses isn't showing anything like these sort of declines. It seems likely that bankers are just too scared to lend for mortgages unless they are certain things will pan out perfectly. (Don't forget, second-guessing regulators are threatening jail time.) They have a Hayne-induced credit crunch. Their home builders can see nothing but a decline in their work pipeline.
Meanwhile, major home loan lender CBA has cut home loan rates in a perhaps forlorn effort to stem the decline.
The UST 10yr yield is softer today at 2.50% and that is -2 bps lower than this time yesterday. Their 2-10 curve is at +15 bps and their negative 1-5 curve is wider at -12 bps. The Aussie Govt 10yr is little-changed at 1.89%, the China Govt 10yr is also unchanged at 3.29%, while the NZ Govt 10 yr is at 2.04%, and that is up +4 bps since this time yesterday.
Gold is up another +US$7 at US$1,304/oz.
US oil prices have slipped back a little overnight, now just on US$64/bbl while the Brent benchmark is at US$70.50/bbl. Russia has signaled it will raise output, reneging on promises it made to Saudi Arabia.
The Kiwi dollar is virtually changed this morning at 67.4 USc. Similarly on the cross rates we are at 94.6 AUc. Against the euro we are still at 59.9 euro cents. That leaves the TWI-5 at 72.
Bitcoin is also little-changed at US$5,203. China is considering banning bitcoin mining. This rate is charted in the exchange rate set below.
The easiest place to stay up with event risk today is by following our Economic Calendar here ».