New Zealand Bonds Trade Flat Amid Quiet Trade
The New Zealand bonds traded nearly flat on Friday amid subdued trade with investors seeking riskier assets. The yield on the benchmark 10-year bonds which moves inversely to its price stood unchanged at 2.650 pct and the yield on the 2-year Treasury bond hovered at 2.00 pct by 0330 GMT.
On Wednesday, the New Zealand first quarter unemployment rate rose to 5.7 pct, higher than the market expectation of 5.5 pct, from 5.3 pct in the last quarter of 2015. On the other hand, employment change jumped 1.2 pct q/q, higher than the investor’s anticipation of 0.6 pct q/q, as compared to prior 0.9 pct. On annual basis, it rose 2 pct y/y, against expectation of 1.3 pct, from 1.3 pct in the previous quarter. Moreover, Average hourly earnings rose 0.3 pct, lower than the investors consensus of 0.5 pct, compared to 0.2 pct previously.
In addition, the New Zealand Fonterra's GDT (Global Dairy Trade) auction held overnight declined 1.4 pct to USD 2,203 per tonne on the back of two consecutive increases. However, the key whole milk powder price recorded a modest gain of 0.7 pct to USD2176 per tonne. On the other hand, Fonterra and market commentators are expecting prices to rise later in the year as European dairy production drops off toward the end of their milking season.
Lastly, we foresee the RBNZ cutting rate in June to around 2% and expectations of a further rate cut in August remains on. The Central bank may act on the housing market if they cut any further. However, the bank has not signalled any cut in the next policy meet in June, retaining its easing bias. Meanwhile, the New Zealand’s benchmark S&P/NZX index rose 0.20 pct or 13.58 points to 6,890.06 by 0330 GMT.
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