Need to know: Monday, May 26

Last updated 07:57 26/05/2014

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What you need to know on Monday morning, May 26.

- NZX50 closed Friday up 42.80 points (0.84 per cent) to 5151.374

- NZ dollar at US85.39 cents, A92.55c, 87.07yen, 50.74p, €62.63c

- Brent crude oil at US$110.44 a barrel- Spot gold at US$1293.40 an ounce

What's on today

- Statistics New Zealand's Overseas Merchandise Trade report will show how much New Zealand imported and exported in April

- The Reserve Bank of New Zealand's figures on the loan-to-value (LVR$) ratio of new residential mortgage lending will give further insight into what effect the LVR limits are having on the market Stocks to watch Bank stocks. Listed banks Westpac, ANZ and Heartland will all be affected by the announcement. A recent KPMG report on the banking sector shows profits have not been dented by the central bank's limits on low-deposit loans, but investors may get extra confidence from seeing small numbers of high-LVR lending on the books.

Top international news

- China has told its state-owned enterprises to sever links with American consulting firms just days after the United States charged five Chinese military officers with hacking US companies, the Financial Times reported.

China's action, which targets companies like McKinsey & Company and The Boston Consulting Group (BCG), stems from fears the firms are providing trade secrets to the US government.

China warned this week it would retaliate if Washington pressed ahead with allegations the Chinese officers hacked into US nuclear, metal and solar companies, including Alcoa Inc, Allegheny Technologies Inc, United States Steel Corp, Toshiba Corp unit Westinghouse Electric Co, the US subsidiaries of SolarWorld AG and a steelworkers' union.

Something else for your morning

- Don't look now, but it appears the dreaded "skills shortage" is back. Kiwi chief executives are happy with New Zealand's economy, which is growing faster than most of its developed world peers, but four out of five company bosses are worried about availability of skills. This is good news for those with in-demand skills, and for those without, it might be an idea to re-train.

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