A review of things you need to know before you go home Friday; ASB raises mortgage rates, more households are renting, infant formula stuff-up, big battery project, wholesale swap rates jump & steepen, NZD stable

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

MORTGAGE RATE CHANGES
ASB hiked rates for its two, four and five year fixed mortgage rates. All the details here.

DEPOSIT RATE CHANGES
No changes here today.

RENTING ON THE RISE
Are most new households renters? Stats NZ thinks so. Their June 2017 update of household numbers and tenure shows there are 1,724,200 (estimated) households in New Zealand at that date, with 1,085,700 as owner-occupied. But the change over the past year shows an increase of +22,100 households, with the rise in renting households being +14,400 of them. One third of households are now renting, the highest level ever. Interestingly, our population is growing quite quickly, but household formation is lower now than in the 2003 to 2006 period when it was growing at least +10% faster.

DON”T MESS WITH THE BIG GUYS
Under-fire Aussie infant powder manufacturer Bellamy’s recently spent AU$28 mln buying a Chinese-approved canning operation in Melbourne to get on top of its licensing issues in China. But today, a bombshell hit them – that canning plant lost its accreditation. Their stock market listing went under a trading halt. The very viability of their business is under question. Don’t mess with Chinese regulators.

GUTSY CALLS
The world’s largest lithium ion battery will be installed in South Australia under an agreement between Tesla, a local (French-owned) wind farm, and the State Government. The project will be in place before summer. According to the Government, Tesla boss Elon Musk has confirmed his commitment to deliver the battery within 100 days or it is free. The 100 days starts once the grid interconnection agreement has been signed.

WHOLESALE RATES RESUME UPWARD STEEPENING
Following the rise of benchmark rates in New York, the local swap market rose strongly and steepened markedly. The two year is up +4 bps, the five year is up +7 bps and the ten year is up +9 bps. The 90 day bank bill rate is down -1 bp to 1.97%.

NZ DOLLAR UNCHANGED
The Kiwi dollar is essentially unchanged today at 72.8 USc. On the cross rates we are a little higher against the Aussie, trading now at 96 AUc and a little lower against the euro at 63.8 euro cents. That leaves the TWI-5 at 76.9. Bitcoin has lower today, down -1%% from this time yesterday to US$2,593.

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Daily exchange rates

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