Need to know: Friday, May 30

Last updated 07:35 30/05/2014

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Property shortages pushing up prices Southern employers say welcome back to Nats Bank eyes new tool on mortgages Westpac KiwiSavers lose default status No guts, no glory for Xero boss Smarts drive Air NZ success Broker's View: Restaurant Brands Port takeover highlights confusion on valuations Taking hoki up a notch Haka's tourism strategy pays off

What you need to know on Friday morning, May 30

- NZX50 up 1.699 points (0.03 per cent) to 5183.161

- NZ dollar at US84.63 cents, A91.13c, 86.05yen, 50.65p, €62.22c

- Brent crude oil at US$110.06 a barrel (up US25c)

- Spot gold at US$1255.20 an ounce

What's on today

- Statistics New Zealand's building consents data will show how many consents, and for what types of buildings, were issued in April.

- The Reserve Bank of New Zealand's credit aggregates for April will give an updated picture on the money supply of the New Zealand economy.

Stocks to watch

- Fletcher Building: Building consent data can be volatile but the underlying trends are what potential investors in the listed construction giant will be looking for. While it has a presence nationwide, there will be particular interest in the Auckland and Christchurch markets where there is greatest demand and potential for the construction sector to expand. Fletcher is also under investigation by WorkSafe New Zealand over its handling of asbestos during the Christchurch rebuild.

Top international news

- The United States economy contracted for the first time in three years in the first quarter as it buckled under a severe winter, but there are signs it has rebounded and economists say it could grow as much as 4 per cent this quarter. The Commerce Department on Thursday slashed its estimate of gross domestic product to show the economy shrank at a 1 per cent annual rate.

The worst performance since the first quarter of 2011 reflected a far slower pace of inventory accumulation and a bigger than estimated trade deficit.

The weather-related temporary factors should fade and inventories, in particular, are expected to swing higher, boosting output in the April-June quarter.

Something else for your morning

- The high number of builders getting called back to re-do work on newly finished houses isn't unusual and isn't a problem, a prominent builder says. A new survey found almost three quarters of new-home owners had to call their builder back after they moved in.

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