All eyes on US data

Last updated 07:43 03/07/2014

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What you need to know on Thursday morning, July 3

- NZX50 up 3.123 points (0.06 per cent) to 5149.385

- NZ dollar at US87.7 cents, A92.87c, 89.26yen, 51.11p, 64.19€c

- Brent crude oil at US$111.14 a barrel (down US$1.15)

- Spot gold at US$1329.20 an ounce

What's on today

- Investors will be keeping a close eye on a raft of US economic data including non-farm payrolls and jobless claims.

Stocks to watch

- Xero: The darling of the New Zealand stock exchange is prone to big swings in share price based on investor sentiment, but it has been reasonably steady for the past couple of weeks at about $26 a share, down 42 per cent from its high of $45 earlier this year but still up 48 per cent from 12 months ago. Its market capitalisation is a still-hefty $3.3 billion, down from $5.8b in March. Positive economic data from its key target market the US could boost its stock, but is its sharemarket honeymoon over or can it return to previous heights?

Top international news

- US private-sector hiring hit 18-month high in June, reinforcing views that momentum was building to carry the economy through the rest of the year after a dismal start.

Wednesday's report from payrolls processor ADP added to other bullish data ranging from manufacturing to car sales that has suggested the economy has bounced back smartly after a first-quarter slump.

Private employers added 281,000 workers to payrolls last month, up from 179,000 in May, ADP said. June's increase, which topped economists' expectations for a gain of only 200,000 jobs, was the largest since November 2012.

Coming a day before the government's comprehensive employment report for June, the ADP data increased the likelihood of another month of strong non-farm payroll growth, economists said.

Most, however, maintained their forecasts for the government data, noting that the ADP report, which is jointly developed with Moody's Analytics, was not a reliable indicator of overall jobs growth.

Something else for your morning

- New Zealand veterinarians and officials are better prepared for an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease, following a visit to Nepal to see the problem close up. If the disease was to enter New Zealand it would be catastrophic for the economy, according to the Ministry for Primary Industries. It estimates export losses of $14.4 billion, spending of $1.17b on eradication, and livestock compensation for infected properties of $30.8 million.

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