US new house building slows, factories busy; China PMI surprisingly weak; Singapore stutters; Australian AAA under threat; final TPP push; NZ$1 = 66.3 US¢, TWI-5 = 70.7

Here’s my summary of the key events over the weekend that affect New Zealand, with news of a warning for Australia from S&P.

But first, sales in the US of newly built single-family homes sank in June, although other recent housing data suggests underlying demand has picked up. They were -7% below the revised May rate, but +18% above the June 2014 level. The median sales price of new houses sold in June 2015 was US$281,800 (NZ$430,000, and about the same as our $450,000).

Factory data out of the US for July has come in slightly better than the strong result expected.

But the latest gauge of Chinese manufacturing unexpectedly fell to the lowest in 15 months, reinforcing the need for further policy support in an economy that had seen signs of stabilisation recently. This was a surprise weak result for what has been known as the HSBC PMI, now known as the Caixin PMI.

And Singapore’s export-dependent economy faltered in the last quarter, recording its sharpest quarterly decline in growth in nearly three years, as its manufacturing sector took a sharp hit from falling overseas demand.

Standard & Poor’s said in a report out over the weekend that Australia could lose its AAA credit rating if it fails to narrow its budget deficit because of political wrangling or external shocks such as the extended slump in commodity prices.

The final step in the TPP negotiations are here. Trade ministers from the 12 Pacific Rim countries – including New Zealand – are on the brink of striking a deal when they meet in Hawaii over the next week.

In New York, the UST 10yr yield benchmark is noticeably lower at 2.26%. Watch out for lower swap rates here when markets open today.

Oil markets are again lower too. The US benchmark price is now well below US$48/barrel, and Brent crude is below US$55/barrel. Maybe the lower prices are as a result of rising rig counts in the US and Canada, helped perhaps by Saudi oil companies opening shale operations in the US.

The gold price made a small gain on Friday but is still at only US$1,098/oz.

The Kiwi dollar starts the week at 65.7 US¢, at 90.4 AU¢, and at 59.9 euro cents. The TWI-5 is at 70.7.

If you want to catch up with all the local changes on Friday, 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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