China markets 'bounce' on support, but still very uncertain; screws tighten on Greece; economic data positive but drowned; UST 10yr yield 2.32%; oil sinks; NZ$1 = 66.9 US¢, TWI-5 = 71.2

Here’s my summary of the key issues overnight that affect New Zealand, with news ‘game theory’ and brinkmanship is still playing out in Europe.

But first, Chinese stocks rose yesterday as its Government threw the ‘kitchen sink’ of support measures at markets and that brought some relief from the severe downdraft to their economic sentiment over the past few weeks. But not every investor is convinced the worst is over. One reason is that trouble is leaking into the Hong Kong markets which is also spooked by Greece.

In Europe, the ECB has tightened the screws by keeping its level of emergency funding of Greek banks unchanged, but raising the level of assets pledged for it. Those banks will stay shut until at least Thursday now.

The EU has said it wants a more realistic offer of reform from Greece. Everyone is saying they want Greece to stay in the euro zone, but no compromise is evident yet to allow that to happen – apart from the dumping of the lightening-rod Greek finance minister, someone who called the EU ‘terrorists’.

Greece is on the edge of ‘ugly’ this week, especially if the banks don’t reopen soon.

China and Greece are dominating the news right now. Most economic data releases seem dated by comparison, but they are generally positive. European retail numbers, American services data, British car buying, Swiss consumer prices, Chinese consumer prices, the Japanese leading index – they have all come in as expected or slightly better.

We get important data in New Zealand today as well. The NZIER quarterly survey of business opinion (QSBO) will be released at 10am. It is a widely respected benchmark.

In New York the UST 10yr yield benchmark is falling and is now at 2.32%. Local swap rates also sank across the board – its been three years since the NZ 2yr swap rate has been this low.

US oil markets are also down sharply. In fact, they are down about -8% on the Chinese trouble affecting demand, and the Iranians signaling a new surge in supply. The US benchmark price now under US$53/barrel, and Brent crude under US$57/barrel.

The gold price is marginally higher at US$1,172/oz.

The Kiwi dollar opens today virtually unchanged from this time yesterday at 66.9 US¢, at 89.2 AU¢, and 60.5 euro cents. The TWI-5 is at 71.2, and still a three year low.

If you want to catch up with all the local changes yesterday, we have an update here.

The easiest place to stay up with event risk today is by following our Economic Calendar here »

Daily exchange rates

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for(i=0;i

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