Here are the key things you need to know before you leave work today.
MORTGAGE RATE CHANGES
TSB has cut its 18 month fixed rate to 4.19%, the lowest bank rate for that term other than HSBC Premier’s 3.99%.
TERM DEPOSIT RATE CHANGES
The Cooperative Bank has cut its Bonus Saver rate by -5 bps to give a potential rate now of 2.15%. They also cut their one month TD rate by -5 bps, to 2.10%. FE Investments have raised their offer rates for terms of 1 to 3 years.
The latest NZIER Quarterly Survey of Business Opinion shows the worst level of business confidence since March 2009. And ‘own activity’ sentiment is falling as well now with the numbers seeing an expansion now being equaled by the number seeing a contraction. That is a rare benchmark. Even though the QSBO is often more negative than what transpires, this is a turn down we haven’t seen for a decade, and comes at a time when our trading partners are not seeing the same trajectory. It’s a Kiwi problem that has been building for a year or so.
RBNZ SURPLUS & DIVIDEND SURGE
The Reserve Bank has posted a near threefold increase in its annual surplus resulting in a $430 mln annual dividend for the Government. The June year surplus jumped to $456 mln from $155 mln the previous year as net interest revenue and gains from foreign exchange rate changes surged. The annual dividend is up from $145 mln last year, but trails the $510 mln paid in 2015.
THE NAFTA SCORE
This is how the stock markets scored the new NAFTA agreement. Wall Street (S&P500) was up +0.36% earlier today. Toronto (S&P/TSX) was up +0.19%. Mexico (IPC) was up +0.68%.
The Australian Government has ordered an inquiry by its competition commission into the level of fees charged by banks and others in the currency exchange markets.
BUSTING A MYTH
A new study in Australia found that the impact of rapid population growth on commuting distances and times has been remarkably benign, despite regular media coverage claiming the opposite. Still, these days, a proper rigorous study won’t stop the repetition of the myth. Heck, it will probably grow!
NOW THAT IS GIGANTIC
Close to 700 million people in China are expected to travel during the country’s National Day holidays, known as the Golden Week, which kicked off on Sunday (Oct. 1). That’s about half the country’s nearly 1.4 bln population. In the first two days of the week-long break, China’s tourist spots have already received some 227 mln visitors.
SWAP RATES LITTLE CHANGED
Swap rates are up slightly at the long end, otherwise unchanged. The UST 10yr is at 3.08%, with the UST 2-10 curve pushed out to almost +26 bps. The Aussie Govt 10yr is at 2.69% (up +3 bps), the China Govt 10yr is at 3.67% (unchanged given it is a holiday week there), while the NZ Govt 10 yr is at 2.65%, and up +1 bp. The 90 day bank bill rate has slipped -1 bp to 1.90%.
The bitcoin price is unchanged since this morning at US$6,565.
NZD LITTLE CHANGED
The NZD is little changed today at 66.1 USc. On the cross rates we are a little softer at 91.4 AUc, and 57.1 euro cents. That puts the TWI-5 at 70.1.
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