A review of things you need to know before you go home on Friday; Westpac raises 2yr mortgage rate, linker yields fall, BOP prices rise, retail sales growth slips, swaps rest, NZD holds gains

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

TODAY’S MORTGAGE RATE CHANGES
Westpac has raised its two year mortgage special by +10 bps to 4.29%, effective Monday. First Credit Union today cut its floating rate to 5.60%, a drop of -25 bps. BNZ has joined ANZ and Westpac with very much tougher lending criteria for borrowers who want to rely on overseas income to support their mortgage application.

TODAY’S DEPOSIT RATE CHANGES
The Nelson Building Society tweaked its one year term deposit rate to 6.45% today, a +5 bps rise.

LOWER SUPPORT, LOWER YIELD
There was reduced support for the September 2035 Government inflation-linked bond tender today with the coverage down to just 1.8 times. The yield fell to 1.84% (plus CPI), down from 1.90% at the prior auction.

‘ROCKET FUELLED’
Bay of Plenty’s ‘rocket fuelled’ house price growth has topped Auckland’s, according to Trade Me. The average asking price of a home there is now up $101,250 in last 12 months, exceeding Auckland price growth.

FUEL ROCKET
Petrol prices at the pump
– after discounts – are now at their highest level of the year. Interestingly, at the same time both retailers BP and Z Energy are reporting record high profitability. Can’t say for certain the retail price is linked to the distributor’s results (because the companies do more than retail petrol), but it looks suspiciously like they have held on to some of the gains from falling prices of crude oil, rather than passing them on.

SLOWER GROWTH
The growth in electronic transactions in May was at its lowest level of the year, at +3.9%. This is a marker for retail sales.

RED HOT
International guest nights in April were up +13.4% compared with the same month last year, more than offsetting a drop in domestic guest nights that was due to the timing of Easter. Overall, the accommodation industry occupancy rate in April was 44%, the highest ever for this shoulder season period.

NON-TRADABLE INFLATION UP
The level of non-tradable inflation (the real target of the RBNZ) is running at 2.2% pa, a 13 month high, according to ANZ’s unofficial survey to May 2016. The RBNZ has declared it can’t do anything about tradable price changes, so non-tradables is the new target.

CBL INSURANCE CREDIT RATING UPGRADED
A.M. Best has upgraded the financial strength rating of NZ insurer CBL Insurance to A- from B++ and its issuer credit rating to “a-” from “bbb”. The outlook for each rating remains stable. The credit ratings agency says the upgrades reflect significant improvement in CBL’s capital position and risk-adjusted capitalisation last year, due to continued strong earnings and additional capital contributions from its parent company. Additionally, the initial public offering of ultimate parent company, CBL Corporation Limited, has “vastly improved” the insurer’s financial flexibility.

BORROWING LESS
In Australia, commercial finance commitments in April are down -7.4% from the same month a year ago.

SWAP RATES REST
Wholesale interest rates took a bit of breather today, slipping -1 bp for all terms to 4 years, and -2 bps for longer terms. NZ swap rates are here. The 90-day bank bill rate also slipped -1 bp to 2.41%.

NZ DOLLAR HOLDS ITS GAINS
After yesterday’s jump, today saw the Kiwi dollar hold those ‘gains’. Is now at 71 USc, at 95.8 AUc, and 62.8 euro cents. The TWI-5 is now at 74.4. Check our real-time charts here.

You can now see an animation of this chart. Click on it, or click here.

Daily exchange rates

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for(i=0;i

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