Here are the key things you need to know before you leave work today.
TODAY’S MORTGAGE RATE CHANGES
TSB Bank today announced new lower rates across the board. Their ‘specials’ now line up better with their rivals, although it is useful to note that their unique 10 year fixed rate has been cut -20 bps to 5.75%.
TODAY’S DEPOSIT RATE CHANGES
The Cooperative Bank along with the Heretaunga Building Society both trimmed term deposit rate offers by small (yet regular) amounts.
China chopped its exchange rate again today, cutting it -1.62% against the USD at 1:15pm today on top of the -1.85% it did yesterday. Over the two days that is now -3.5% lower. As a ‘commodity-based’ currency, the NZD has taken collateral damage as currency traders recoil from risk. One possible casualty of these moves – which look like policy panic in China – may be the US Fed’s impending interest rate hike. (Just a guess on my part.)
‘I WANT MORE DEBT’
The mortgage approval data out for last week continues to impress given this is August we are talking about. Volumes of new approvals are up +7% on the same period a year ago, and values being approved are up almost +25% over the same period. The punters are apply for ‘new’ indebtedness in numbers for an August we haven’t seen for a few years, and the banks are obliging.
POPULAR SPOT, EVEN IN JUNE
June represents the bottom of our tourism season, but it still managed to shine. At 30.4% this is the highest occupancy rate for a June that we have ever recorded in our data going back to 1996 and the first time ever it has been over 30% in a June. Strong inbound international visitor numbers are raising the trend. And given the recent fall in the Kiwi dollar, that trend is likely to improve even further.
NO WORRIES, MATE
In contrast to yesterday’s NAB business confidence survey, consumer sentiment bounced higher unexpectedly in August, according to the latest Westpac-Melbourne Institute survey. Aussies are apparently putting the global market ructions of last month behind them to focus on rising property values at home and continuing jobs growth.
We were half expecting to get the REINZ data for July today, but it now seems unlikely to arrive. There is no official release date for this important series – it arrives when it arrives. Maybe tomorrow.
WHOLESALE RATES LOWER & FLATTER
Swap rates fell across the curve in a flatter bias. For one year wholesale rates are down -2 bps, five years are down -5 bps and ten years are down -7 bps. The 90 day bank bill rate is down again, today by another -1 bp to 2.96%.
NZ DOLLAR HOLDS
The NZ dollar is now below at 65 USc and its lowest since July 2009, pretty much unchanged against the Aussie at 89.6 AUc, and down to 58.8 euro cents. The TWI is at 70.4. Check our real-time charts here.
You can now see an animation of this chart. Click on it, or click here.