Need-to-know business: Wednesday

NIKO KLOETEN
Last updated 09:17 09/07/2014

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What you need to know on Wednesday morning, July 9.

- NZX50 down 20.285 points (0.39 per cent) to 5166.075

- NZ dollar at US87.88 cents, A93.49c, 89.16yen, 51.33p, 64.59€c

- Brent crude oil at US$108.99 a barrel (down US$1.25)

- Spot gold at US$1316.00 an ounce

WHAT'S ON TODAY

- Statistics New Zealand's electronic card transactions data for June will give an early hint of whether rising interest rates are starting to hit consumers' wallets.

STOCKS TO WATCH

- Meridian Energy: The partially privatised power company, which generates electricity through hydro and wind, has signed a four-year electricity hedge contract that gives it the ability to buy power from the wholesale market to cover years with low rainfall. The agreement with Genesis Energy takes effect from the start of next year and allows for up to 150 megawatts to be available every year. Genesis operates the coal and gas-powered Huntly power station, and three hydro schemes.

TOP INTERNATIONAL NEWS

- US stocks fell in a broad selloff on Tuesday, dropping for a second straight session in their biggest one-day drop in almost two months as investors pulled back ahead of the start of corporate earnings season.

The day's losses grew throughout the session, with the S&P 500 falling under its 14-day moving average, a sign of weak near-term momentum. Eight of the 10 primary S&P 500 sectors were lower, with only defensive groups like utilities and consumer staples higher on the day.

About 60 per cent of stocks trading on the New York Stock Exchange fell, and almost three-quarters of Nasdaq-listed names.

Markets have performed well recently, with major indexes hitting repeated records and the Dow breaking above 17,000 for the first time.

The rise has largely come on the back of strong data, and market participants are looking to corporate earnings for confirmation the economy snapped back in the second quarter.

SOMETHING ELSE FOR YOUR MORNING

- Employers are being encouraged to be patient with football-focused workers as the Fifa World Cup semifinals bite into working hours today and tomorrow. World Cup fever may have its biggest workplace impact so far during this morning's Brazil-Germany match and tomorrow's Netherlands-Argentina encounter, with their 8am kick-offs.

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