All eyes on house prices

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

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Auckland port challenge heads to Appeal Court Auckland Council rejects Helensville housing developments Woolston gelatine factory Gelita gets two more years to discharge offensive odours Historic St Christopher's third Wellington church sold Fortune 500 bank's Kiwi ambitions Record 77,000 international travellers pass through Wellington airport Former New Zealand Wine Company and Blues CEO Peter Scutts in High Court Heartland revival: Stratford business on a roll Man's severed finger reattached Upper Hutt brewer pops the tab on Canheads

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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