A review of things you need to know before you go home on Thursday; no rate changes; Fonterra reports first loss, house prices flat-line, food prices down, Council pay up, swap rates stable, NZD firm

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

MORTGAGE RATE CHANGES
No changes today.

TERM DEPOSIT RATE CHANGES
We had an error in yesterday’s edition. The ANZ Serious Saver interest rate is reducing on October 1 by -10 bps to 2.10%, and not to 2.00% as we reported yesterday.

RECORD LOSS
Fonterra reported its full year financials this morning, and a big loss of almost $200 mln for the last season. However, it held its milk price forecast at $6.75 and forecasted earnings per share of 25c-35c for the current season. It is to review its investments including in Beingmate.

QUEEN CITY FLAT-LINES
The REINZ reported its August data today and that shows the housing market on a stable footing as it heads into spring. Sales volumes are up slightly and prices are mostly steady. In Auckland, sales volumes fell however, down -2.5% year on year while median prices were up +1.4% – but that only takes them back to levels we first saw in September 2016. That’s almost two years with no capital gains in the Queen City.

THE HEALTHY STUFF COSTS LESS
Food prices fell in August on a year-on-year basis. Although it was only a tiny fall, it’s the second time it has happened in the last four months. A -6.5% fall for fruit and vegetables covered small rises for processed foods. And, seen on a sign in rural US; “Despite the high cost of living, it remains popular.”

COUNCIL PAY = HIGH PAY
According to data released by the Taxpayers Union, there are now 10,063 employees at Auckland Council. 2,250 of them earn more than $100,000 pa, which includes 194 who earn more than $200,000 pa. They have also released similar data for many other Councils, but only Auckland and Christchurch have pay proportions above 20% of employees earning $100,000+.

HOLDING STEADY
In Australia, they reported an unchanged unemployment rate in August of 5.3%. But the annual growth in the employed workforce dipped to +302,500, the lowest gain in 15 months. Their participation rate of 65.3% is steady (and way below the New Zealand level of 70.6%.)

SWAP RATES UNCHANGED
Swap rates are virtually unchanged today. The UST 10yr is also unchanged at 2.97%. The UST 2-10 curve is lower, down to just above +21 bps. The Aussie Govt 10yr is at 2.58% (down -1 bp), the China Govt 10yr is at 3.70% (also down -1 bp), while the NZ Govt 10 yr is at 2.62%, unchanged. The 90 day bank bill rate is unchanged at 1.89%.

BITCOIN RISING
The bitcoin price is at US$6,390 which is up +2.2% from this time yesterday.

NZD FIRMISH
The NZD is firmer at 65.6 USc. On the cross rates we are softer at 91.2 AUc, and little changed at 56.3 euro cents. That puts the TWI-5 at 69.3.

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