A review of things you need to know before you go home on Monday; Kiwibank cuts mortgage and terms deposit rates, China's growth holds, NZ services strong, farm sales weak, swap rates fall

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

TODAY’S MORTGAGE RATE CHANGES
Kiwibank set its 2 year ‘special’ at 4.49% today, matching most other banks. The Police Credit Union cut its 1 year home loan rate.

TODAY’S DEPOSIT RATE CHANGES
Kiwibank has also cut term deposit rates, between -10 and -20 bps for most terms from 3 months to 5 years.

CHINA GROWTH HOLDS UP
China’s Q3 GDP growth has just been announced. It came in at an annual rate of +6.9% which is below their target of +7%, but above analysts expectations of +6.8%. As a consequence, the New Zealand dollar is getting a bit of a fillip. China’s retail sales were up +10.9%, more evidence that it is the services sector powering their economy than the factory sector. New Zealand’s food exports fit into that service sector, more so than the bulk of Australia’s exports to the Middle Kingdom. Our log exports also fit well into their recovering housing markets.

A SIZZLING SEPTEMBER
Activity in New Zealand’s services sector continued its upwards momentum, according to the BNZ-BusinessNZ PSI. The index is now at its highest since November 2007. The result is being driven by the new orders/business component. Together with the positive factory PMI, analysts are now saying that our economic growth will be stronger in the second half than the first.

A PRICE BREATHER
Ahead of Wednesday morning’s dairy auction, derivative pricing is signaling very few gains should be expected this week. A small retrenchment in the index may even be the result. Weak indicators for WMP demand is behind the softness.

LOW SALES, LOWER PRICES
There were only 108 farm sales in September, exactly the same number in September 2014. Only five of these were dairy farms, none in the Taranaki. In fact, the average price of dairy land has fallen to just $25,100/ha, its lowest level since September 2012. Weakness is particularly pronounced in Northland, the Waikato, and Canterbury, and prices are between -25% to -60% lower than they were since the beginning of 2015 (on a $/ha basis).

NORTHERN LIFESTYLES
In contrast to weak farm sales, sales of lifestyle blocks are not showing the same weakness. But while sales volumes are strong, prices are not rising in the same way residential prices are. Lifestyle block sales are especially strong in the Waikato, mirrored by other northern provinces but the only areas where they are at level higher than the boom we last saw in 2004. Few other regions have achieved that however.

WHOLESALE RATES
The 90-day bank bill rate is unchanged at 2.85% today, but swap rates have fallen -2 bps across the curve (apart from the 1 yr which is unchanged and the 10yr which is -3 bps).

NZ DOLLAR EASES
The Kiwi dollar has slipped back today although the softness has been arrested by the better-than-expected Chinese data and it is now back at 68 USc. It is holding against the Aussie at 93.5 AUc and down against the euro at 59.8 euro cents. The TWI-5 is at 72. 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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