A review of things you need to know before you go home on Tuesday; more TD rate cuts, a TD alternative, mad Auckland house 'values', SUVs rule, commodities tank, 90 day bank bill rates fall

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

TODAY’S MORTGAGE RATE CHANGES
There were no mortgage rate changes announced today.

TODAY’S DEPOSIT RATE CHANGES
ANZ cut term deposit and PIE rates today by -10 to -20 bps across the board. The Police Credit Union did similar. NZCU Auckland also cut across the board with their changes ranging from -5 bps to -30 bps.

TERM DEPOSIT ALTERNATIVE
AMP has today made some useful points for savers in a low interest rate environment. Firstly, KiwiSaver funds have been earning better than TD rates. And, “unlike a term deposit, where you may have to wait for 31 days to take your money out, once you reach 65 you can make partial or full withdrawals from your account whenever you need to as long as you have been a KiwiSaver member for five years. You can also continue to make contributions should you decide to return to work but what many people don’t realise is that once you reach 65, if you leave KiwiSaver, you can’t get back in. Maintaining your KiwiSaver membership into retirement means you can keep your options open,” says AMP.”>

IRRATIONAL EXUBERANCE
A shortage of new homes in Auckland keeps pushing up house values says QV. They were up +18.8% in Auckland, unchanged year-on-year in Wellington, and up +4.1% in Christchurch. QV says Auckland is reaching a ‘crescendo”.

SUVs RULE
Year-on-year growth in car and commercial vehicle sales are leveling off, but holding high levels. However the shift to SUV’s is gathering pace with 35% of all sales now in this category. (In July 2014, SUV’s took 30% market share.)

COMMODITY ROUT
The ANZ Commodity Price Index for July declined by a massive -11.2%. This is the fourth consecutive fall in the index, which is at its lowest level since October 2009 but it is also the largest monthly decline ever in the series. The fall this month was broad based, with thirteen of the seventeen main commodities monitored recording a decline. The index is -27% lower than 12 months earlier. The declines are much less in NZ dollars as our currency has adjusted down to reflect the changes.

‘BANKING SYSTEM SAFE’
Moody’s says its outlook for the New Zealand banking system is stable, based on the banks’ healthy capitalisation, strong asset quality and stable profitability, which offset the risks arising from weaker economic growth. High house prices also presents another key risk. However, Moody’s expectation for continued strong asset quality is supported by a) a declining NZD and RBNZ Official Cash Rate will provide support to the dairy sector, b) Farmers have become more cautious – dairy sector leverage has been stable, despite record milk prices in 2014, c) housing loans make up the largest part of bank portfolios (53%). Losses in this sector are likely to stay low on the back of stable employment conditions and low interest rates, d) asset quality has continued to improve strongly since 2010 – any weakening from here will be off a very strong base. Moody’s conclusions were backed by by RBNZ core funding ratio data out today. Then again, 81.8% of bank funding is due within one year.

WHOLESALE RATES DROP YET AGAIN
Swap rates sharply again today but not as sharply as we saw on Wall Street last night. They are down -1 and -2 bps out to five years and down -3 bps for ten years. The 90 day bank bill rate has seen another sharp drop, down -3 bps to 3.03%.

NZ DOLLAR UNCHANGED
Despite the further interest rate falls the currency markets are virtually unchanged from this time yesterday. The NZ dollar is currently at 65.6 USc, at 90.0 AUc, and at 60 euro cents. The TWI is still at 70.6. 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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