Talk Money with Tony Field – September 9, 2015

Graeme Wheeler (Getty)
Graeme Wheeler (Getty)

It looks almost certain that the Reserve Bank will cut the official cash rate tomorrow. The market is pricing it in as a 90 percent certainty that the OCR will be cut by 25 basis points to 2.75 percent.

But are people getting ahead of themselves?

ANZ chief economist Cameron Bagrie says he is "not convinced the decision this time is as clear-cut as the market is thinking".

"Yes, the economy is sluggish and inflation is low. But the NZ dollar has come a long, long way and monetary conditions have loosened a lot."

His comments were made in his capacity as a member of the NZ Institute of Economic Research's monetary policy shadow board. The board is a panel of nine economists and business leaders. They have recommended the RBNZ cut the OCR to 2.75 percent.

NZIER senior economist Christina Leung says: "Recent activity indicators continue to point to a softening growth outlook. However, there was a wide range of views amongst the shadow board this round, with some calling for the OCR to be left unchanged."

Six favoured the cut, two thought it should stay where it is and one board member was neutral on either a cut of 25 basis points or leaving it at 3 percent.

"Headline inflation is low, but the housing market remains strong and the recent sharp depreciation in the NZD has contributed to a loosening in monetary conditions."

"The Reserve Bank needs to balance the economic risks, as well as take into account the potential for further surges in asset prices and the consequences of a sharp correction down the track."

The shadow board's average recommended interest rate is down to 2.8 percent, from 3.00 percent in July.

Tomorrow is also a big day for Apple when the company holds its latest product launch, with a revamped Apple TV, a new phone and a larger 13-inch iPad all tipped to be unveiled.

The event is not only a big event for Apple loyalists but also for Wall Street investors.

Apple is the largest stock in the S&P500 and Nasdaq indexes. It accounts for over 3 percent of the market.

It may not be the most important company on Wall Street, but many investors certainly subscribe to the theory that where Apple goes so does the market.

Investors will be looking tomorrow to see what Apple CEO Tim Cook has to say about the company's strategy for 2016.

The stock has fallen 13 percent in the past three months amid fear its sales are slowing, especially in China.

There is also concern about the iPhone's future sales in the United States. That is because some phone companies are no longer subsidising the purchase of the phone when customers sign up.

The new phone is expected to be a fraction larger with a more sensitive touch screen, a better processor and improved camera and video images. When the phone eventually goes on sale there will be huge focus on the first day's sales and the 48 hours after that. Many Wall Street investors will judge the stock on how those three days go.

The Apple stock price rallied 2.7 percent today on anticipation of tomorrow's event.

Stocks soared more than two percent on Wall Street, after the US market reopened following a three day holiday weekend.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 390 points, or 2.37 percent. It was 401 points up just minutes before the close.

General Electric rallied 4 percent, after it won European approval to buy French company Alstom's power business. It is the biggest buy in GE's history.

The broader S&P500 was up 2.5 percent. That is the second biggest percentage gain it has had all year. It is now 7.7 percent below its peak in May.

Amazon rose 3.72 percent after announcing that its launching a one-hour restaurant delivery service to compete with sites like GrubHub.

Google gained 2.37 percent after it said it will expand its overnight delivery service to include midwestern American cities, like Columbus, Ohio and Lansing, Michigan.

The Google announcement is a sign of how the company is ramping up its plan to compete with Amazon Prime Now in the market for same and next-day deliveries.

Gold rose $3 to US$1,120 an ounce. Oil settled down 11 cents at US$45.76. European Brent is trading 3.63 percent higher at US$49.36.

The New Zealand dollar has made strong gains overnight.

That tends to happen when stocks rise. If Wall Street, Europe and Asian markets rise investors become keener to take on risk and will look to put money into markets like New Zealand. It is the same reason why the New Zealand dollar will slip when there is a sell-off on foreign stock markets.

The kiwi is 1.45 percent higher against the US dollar at 63.51 cents. It's almost unchanged at 90.40 Australian cents.

But the New Zealand dollar has risen just over half a percent higher against the pound, at 41.26 pence.

It is almost 2 percent higher against the Yen at 76.15.

The kiwi gained 1.2 percent to trade at 56.71 euro cents.

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