How much does NZ owe the world?

20:14, Jun 17 2014

What you need to know on Wednesday morning, June 18.

- NZX50 up 14.7 points (0.28 per cent) to 5193.500

- NZ dollar at US86.50 cents, A92.67c, 88.35yen, 51.00p, €63.87c

- Brent crude oil at US$113.35 a barrel (up US41c)

- Spot gold at US$1270.50 an ounce

- Dairy prices up 0.9 per cent at GlobalDairyTrade auction

What's on today

- Statistics New Zealand's balance of payments and international investment position data for the March quarter will show New Zealand's current account deficit and how much we collectively owe to the rest of the world.

- Acurity Health group goes ex-dividend (final), paying 11c a share on June 27.

- Comvita goes ex-dividend (final), paying 8c a share on June 27.

- Fisher & Paykel Healthcare goes ex-dividend (final), paying 7c a share on July 4.

- Millennium and Copthorne Hotels New Zealand: Special shareholders meeting 2.30pm, Copthorne Hotel Auckland City, 150 Anzac Avenue, Auckland.

- AWF Group goes ex-dividend, (final), paying 7.6c a share on June 27.

- Methven goes ex-dividend (final) paying 4.5c a share on June 30.

- NPT goes ex-dividend (final), paying 0.8c a share July 4.

Stocks to watch

- Investors will make their feelings known about the news this morning that Sky Television will launch a subscription video-on-demand television service by the end of the year. The company has not finalised what shows or movies it will offer or what it will cost.

The move had been strongly hinted at by the company which has acknowledged there is a growing group of young, tech-savvy people who it is not catering for effectively with its broadcast service.

Top international news

- US consumer prices recorded their largest increase in more than a year in May as costs for a range of goods and services rose, which likely to ease the Federal Reserve's concerns that inflation was running too low. The Labor Department said on Tuesday its Consumer Price Index increased 0.4 per cent last month, with food prices posting their biggest rise since August 2011.

Economists, who had expected consumer prices to rise only 0.2 per cent, said the increase suggested a separate inflation gauge watched by the Fed also pushed higher in May, although it would still fall short of the central bank's 2 per cent target.

Meanwhile, US housing starts and building permits fell more than expected in May, suggesting the housing recovery will probably remain slow for a while.

Groundbreaking for homes fell 6.5 per cent to a seasonally adjusted annual pace of 1 million units, the Commerce Department said on Tuesday.

March's starts were revised down to show a 12.7 per cent increase instead of the previously reported 13.2 per cent rise.

Something else for your morning

- If you've ever posted something really stupid on social media, you can take heart that you've got nothing on the clangers produced by some of the world's top companies. From unfortunate hashtags to the inappropriate use of terrorist attacks to sell breakfast cereal, these are the sorts of stuff-ups that can ruin reputations and generate lots of LOLs.