Here are the key things you need to know before you leave work today.
TODAY’S MORTGAGE RATE CHANGES
There were no changes today.
TODAY’S DEPOSIT RATE CHANGES
There have been no term deposit rate changes today.
VISITOR ARRIVALS SET NEW RECORD IN JULY
The tourism industry remains extremely buoyant with 237,900 overseas visitors coming to the country in July, which was up 14% compared to July last year and an all time record for the month of July, according to Statistics NZ. In the 12 months to July a record 3.34 million visitors came to NZ, up 11% on the 12 months to July last year. However New Zealand residents also took a record 278,200 overseas trips in July, up 11% from July last year, with Australia and the US the main beneficiaries.
CONSULTATION ON NEW RULES FOR TESTING STEEL MESH
Consultation has begun on proposed changes to the rules governing the testing of steel reinforcing mesh. It is proposed that an updated verification standard will apply to all steel mesh, whether it was made locally or imported. This will set the standard for ductility (the capacity for steel to retain its strength when stretched) which is critically important during an earthquake, and specify that testing must be undertaken by internationally accredited testing laboratories.
TRUSTPOWER TO PLEAD GUILTY TO MISLEADING CUSTOMERS
Trustpower intends to plead guilty to seven charges of breaching the Fair Trading Act brought by the Commerce Commission. The charges relate to an advertising campaign Trustpower ran between March and July last year promoting a $49 bundled package with unlimited broadband. However the offer was only available to customers who signed up for a 24 month term and the second 12 month term cost $79 a month, and quitting the contract would have incurred exit fees. Those requirements were only in the fine print at the bottom of the advertisements. Trustpower said it acted quickly to change its advertising once the Commission raised its concerns and was disappointed that the Commission had decided to file charges.
WOOL PRICE DROPS AT LATEST AUCTION
The price of 35-micron crossbred wool dropped to $5.50 per kg at this week’s South Island wool auction, down form $5.55 per kg at the previous auction two weeks ago, according to AgriHQ. The timing of the auction, which fell during the European holiday season was blamed, with a reduced presence by European buyers.
TAX TAKES SPARKLE OUT OF MICHAEL HILL’S PROFIT
Michael Hill International posted an annual net profit of A$19.6 million for the 12 months to June, down 30% from the previous year. The earnings were affected by the A$28.8 million settlement of a tax dispute with IRD. The company indicated it would be seeking approval from shareholders at its annual meeting to pay former chief executive Mike Parsell, who resigned last week, a termination package it described as being substantially below the figure specified in his employment contract.
WHOLESALE INTEREST RATES
The fall in US treasury yields overnight had little impact on the domestic market as swap rates were marginally higher. While some of the government bonds were down on the open, the swap market yields have inched higher. The two year swap rate , which yesterday record slows of 1.94%, was up one basis point. There was an overall downward bias across fixed interest markets and with the US Federal Reserve in no hurry to hike, we could see this continue for a while yet.
NZ DOLLAR ON A SLIPPERY SLOPE
After closing in on 73 cents in the early hours of the morning the NZD has found itself in a steady decline over the course of the day. A sharp drop of approximately 30 basis points occurred around lunchtime NZT as Australian and Asian markets came on stream. The kiwi dollar is currently trading sideways and is flicking up and down in a tight range. With little domestic news and data, the NZD is at the mercy of overseas markets.
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