Here are the key things you need to know before you leave work today.
MORTGAGE RATE CHANGESANZ has followed ASB and released a ‘new build’ floating rate. ANZ’s is at 1.68%. It is only a small corner of home loans and will probably only apply to well less than 5% of their mortgage business. Good publicity though, as it has been for ASB, Heartland and Simplicity before them.
MORE CONFIDENTThe strong pricing outlook for New Zealands key agricultural products has driven a third consecutive lift in farmer confidence, the latest Rabobank Rural Confidence Survey of the year has found. The last time both general confidence, and own business confidence were both this positive in this survey was in March 2018.
FIRMING PRICESMeat processor beef and lamb prices are now at 18 month highs. Prices for coarse wool are showing some signs of life too, now slightly less under-water than they have been.
LESS SELLING BUT DEMAND REMAINS STRONGWinter is biting into Auckland house auction numbers but the sales rate is holding up. Barfoot & Thompson auction numbers are now half what they were over the peak summer months.
WARNING FOR FINFLUENCERSThe FMA is warning online bloggers and social media ‘gurus’ about keeping their conversations general in nature. It has released a guide to talking about money online following concerns some social media influencers and bloggers may be straying into regulated financial advice. Consumers are warned that recommendations for particular products for particular people should only be done by registered financial advisers. Influencers should approach paid, unpaid or gifted partnerships for financial services and products with caution. Think carefully before promoting a financial product or service. There are rules and guidelines around advertising financial products and services, including legal requirements. 
UP HALF A BILCapitalisation for the NZX50 rose by +$556 mln last week, or +0.4%, to $127.1 bln. None of the 50 companies in this index changed their place on the list. Companies have been releasing their annual results and we have updated our profiles for Fisher & Paykel Healthcare (FPH #1), Infratil (IFT #8), Ryman Healthcare (RYM #9), and Goodman Property Trust (GMT #16).
RECOVERED LABOUR MARKETEmployment continued to pick up in May, with filled jobs up a further +0.4% for the month according to Stats NZ’s May employment indicators. The number of jobs is now +0.6% above its pre-COVID peak. Westpac reports that since the pandemic shock, the strongest growth has been in the construction sector, with gains also seen in areas such as healthcare and IT. Sectors that have been more affected by the ongoing closure of the border, such as hospitality, transport and recreational services, are still down on pre-COVID levels. The overall demand for labour is strong at the moment, as demonstrated by the sharp rise in job advertisements in recent months. The monthly employment indicator, along with the decline in Jobseeker Benefit payments, suggests that those positions are being filled. 
FINALLY SOLDFonterra has agreed the sale of its two joint venture farms in China, with the sale expected to be completed on 30 June. The farms in Shandong province will be sold to Singapore-based AustAsia Investment Holdings for US$115.5 mln. Fonterra, which owns the farms with a joint venture partner, has a 51% stake in the business and will receive NZ$88 mln in total asset sale proceeds, which includes cash on completion. These farms were running at a loss. The sale of the JV farms is unconditional and requires no further regulatory approvals. And earlier sale to their JV partner fell through. Fonterra sold its two wholly owned China farming hubs in Shanxi and Hebei provinces to Inner Mongolia Youran Dairy in April for NZ$552 mln.
GOLD SLIPSCompared to where it ended on Saturday, the gold price is down -US$7 to US$1775/oz in early Asian trading.
EQUITY MARKETS FLATAlthough it fell quite sharply at its open, the NZX50 Capital Index has clawed all that back to be almost flat in late trade, perhaps down -0.1%. The ASX200 is also flat in early afternoon trade. The very large Tokyo equity market has opened down -0.3%, Hong Kong is closed due to severe weather, while Shanghai has opened flat too. The S&P500 futures are trading flat as well.
SWAP & BONDS TRACK HIGHERWe don’t have today’s closing swap rates yet. If there are significant changes again today, we will update this item. They probably rose about +3 bps for the 2 year. The 90 day bank bill rate is up +1 bp at 0.34%. The Australian Govt ten year benchmark rate is unchanged from this morning at 1.56%. The China Govt ten year bond is also unchanged at 3.11%. The New Zealand Govt ten year however is up +4 bps at 1.86% and still well above the earlier RBNZ fix of 1.83% (+4 bps). The US Govt ten year is down -2 bps to 1.52%.
NZ DOLLAR FIRMThe Kiwi dollar is still where it was this time Friday, now at 70.7 USc. Against the Aussie we are firm at 93.2 AUc. Against the euro we are also firm at 59.3 euro cents. That means the TWI-5 is now a bit above 73.1.
BITCOIN REGAINSThe bitcoin price is now at US$34,486 and up +4.3% from where we were at on Saturday. Most of the gains happened between 10 and 11am this morning. Volatility in the past 24 hours has been very high at +/- 4.0%.
This soil moisture chart isanimated here.
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