Here are the key things you need to know before you leave work today.
MORTGAGE RATE CHANGES
Heretaunga Building Society has cut fixed mortgage rates by -10 bps.
TERM DEPOSIT RATE CHANGES
SBS Bank has trimmed some term deposit rates by a minor -5 bps. They have also reduced their i-Save call rate and their Prospector Call rate. Heretaunga Building Society cut its on-call rates too.
BIG PERSONAL LOAN RATE CUT
ANZ has cut its personal loan rate from 17.95% to 13.90%. That may look impressive, but essentially all they have done is bring their rate more into line with some key rivals like ASB (12.95%) and Westpac (13.95%).
DAIRY PRICE FOCUS
There was another dairy auction today with overall prices down -1.2% in USD terms, but unchanged in NZD terms. WMP prices fell -2.1%. Cheddar cheese prices however raced sharply higher, up +15%. Fonterra will announce quarterly results tomorrow, and Bank economists say the global dairy prices and outlook point to a farmgate milk price in excess of $7/kgMS in the new season that starts in August.
Data from the REINZ today shows mixed fortunes in the rural property market. Dairy farm sales languish while grazing property sales surge. And sales of lifestyle blocks are well down on a year ago. Per hectare prices are here.
RETAIL SECTOR SOFTENING
Retail sales rose +3.7% in the March 2019 quarter from the same period in 2018. That compares with an average overall 2018 rise of +3.9% so there is a softening underway. Interestingly, sales at department stores (a sector in real trouble in other countries) are surging, up +12% in March after an average rise in 2018 of +5.1%. Languishing are electrical, specialty foods, pharmacies and furniture stores. Strong gains are being posted by food & beverage, clothing, hardware and recreational goods.
BACK TO WORK
An investigation into claims of bullying leveled against Retirement Commissioner Diane Maxwell has found she "has not bullied current or former staff of the Retirement Commissioner". She is returning to work. Her term in the role however expires at the end of June.
HOW TO COMPLAIN
Results of the New Zealand Consumer Survey 2018 show that while nearly all consumers are aware that laws exist to protect their consumer rights, more than half of consumers report knowing only ‘a little’ or ‘nothing’ about what these rights are. MBIE have a resource where you can find out more about your rights and how to resolve issues.
LOCAL SWAPS HOLD
Local swap rates are unchanged today across the curve. The UST 10yr rate is firmer at 2.43%, up +1 bp. Their 2-10 curve is little-changed at +18 bps while their negative 1-5 curve is at -15 bps. The Aussie Govt 10yr is down -3 bps at 1.65%, the China Govt 10yr is up +2 bps at 3.33%, while the New Zealand Govt 10yr is down -3 bps to 1.82%. (All changes from this time yesterday.) The 90 day bank bill rate is unchanged at 1.71%.
NZ DOLLAR SLIPS
The NZ dollar is down at 65 USc which is also where it was at the local open this morning. Against the Aussie we are at 94.5 AUc. And we are also down at 58.2 euro cents. That leaves the TWI-5 at 70.2.
BITCOIN LITTLE CHANGED
Bitcoin is still elevated but little changed from this time yesterday at US$7,938. Bitcoin is tracked in the chart below.
This chart is animated here.