All eyes on house prices

NIKO KLOETEN
Last updated 08:11 07/08/2014

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Industries

New Jetstar service from Wellington to Dunedin, more summer trans-Tasman seats Zara dips toe in NZ waters, a full store may follow Gentrack boss James Docking to step down next year Briscoes forecasts record half year profit OceanaGold's shares on trading halt NZ dollar seen falling to GFC levels if US hikes rates Pike River families 'let down' by watered-down health and safety legislation Keen contest for Champion Canterbury business awards New court decision in wealthy Christchurch family power struggle Abano posts full year loss

What you need to know on Thursday morning, August 7.

- NZX50 down 11.936 points (0.23 per cent) to 5092.227

- NZ dollar at US84.79 cents, A90.61c, 86.52yen, 50.29p, 63.34€c

- Brent crude oil at US$104.67 a barrel

- Spot gold at US$1303.90 an ounce

What's on today

- QV house price index released

- Abano Healthcare goes ex-dividend (final), at 13.7c per share, payable on August 21

Stocks to watch

- Telecom: Telecom has begun removing its signage ahead of its name change to Spark on Friday. The company has previously estimated the rebrand will cost $20 million, but of interest to investors will be what impact, if any, the name change has on the company's reputation. The choice of "Spark" has been widely debated but it will be the company's performance, rather than its name, that will determine its fate.

Top international news

- The US trade deficit narrowed more than expected in June as petrol imports dropped to a 3.5-year low, suggesting trade was less of a drag on second-quarter economic growth than initially thought.

The Commerce Department said yesterday the trade gap shrank 7 per cent to US$41.5 billion (NZ$48.9b), the lowest reading since January.

That was smaller than the roughly US$44.8b shortfall the government had assumed in its first snapshot of second-quarter gross domestic product published last week.

When adjusted for inflation, the deficit narrowed from US$52b in May to US$48.8b.

As a result, economists expect the GDP growth estimate for the April-June quarter to be raised by as much as 0.3 per cent later this month.

Something else for your morning

- The world's newest airliner, the Airbus A350, has called into Auckland as part of a global test flight programme. The wide-body jet is the European planemaker's response to America's Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

To the casual observer there is little to set the two aircraft apart at the airport gate, but that is what you would expect when design by aerodynamic efficiency dictates an optimal shape. The A350's curved-up wingtips is the distinguishing feature.

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