What you need to know on Friday morning, August 8.
- NZX50 up 5.282 points (0.1 per cent) to 5097.509
- NZ dollar at US84.73 cents, A91.33c, 86.56yen, 50.38p, 63.45€c
- Brent crude oil at US$105.73 a barrel (up US$1.06)
- Spot gold at US$1312.53 an ounce
What's on today
- Telecom officially changes its name and brand to Spark
- Acurity Health Group AGM, 2pm, Wakefield Hospital, Wellington
Stocks to watch
- Fonterra: The dairy giant, which has its shareholders' fund listed on the NZX, could benefit from Russia's ban on dairy imports from most Western countries. The ban applies to the United States, the 28 European Union countries, Canada, Australia and non-EU member Norway, but New Zealand has not been included in the ban.
Top international news
- European shares and the euro fell on Thursday and investors moved to safe-haven government debt after a stronger-than-expected move by Russia to ban certain imports from Europe and the United States.
Early gains on Wall Street faded, with the S&P 500 falling below its 100-day moving average, a significant technical support level. More broadly, MSCI's world equity index lost 0.4 per cent.
German government debt yields fell to all-time lows, on increased concern over the effect Ukraine's crisis will have on euro zone growth. The European Central Bank said following its monthly policy-setting meeting that a sanctions war could worsen the growth outlook on the continent, where demand is already weak.
The ECB elected to hold borrowing rates at record low levels on Thursday. Europe's main bourses closed lower, with London's down 0.6 per cent, Germany's DAX off 1 per cent and France's CAC 40 down 1.4 per cent. The move for the DAX put the index down 10 per cent from its record closing high in early July.
Something else for your morning
- A 72-year-old Te Kuiti woman has had 26 years of phone bills refunded by Telecom, sorry, Spark. Pam Morgan won the refund during a promotion by Telecom, now Spark, to raise awareness of its brand.
Spark managing director Simon Moutter said the rebranding was the biggest step in the company's transformation over the past 18 months. It was saying thank you to customers as part of that change.