All eyes on Port of Tauranga

NIKO KLOETEN
Last updated 07:51 21/08/2014

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What you need to know on Thursday morning, August 21.

- NZX50 up 26.126 points (0.51 per cent) to 5140.338

- NZ dollar at US83.86 cents, A90.23c, 86.96 yen, 50.48p, 63.22€c

- Brent crude oil at US$102.28 a barrel (up US72c)

- Spot gold at US$1288.40 an ounce

What's on today

- Reserve Bank credit-card spending and balances for July

- Statistics New Zealand international travel and migration for July

- ANZ Roy Morgan consumer confidence for August

- Port of Tauranga annual result

- Skellerup annual result

Stocks to watch

- Port of Tauranga: New Zealand's biggest port company announces its annual result today and investors will be looking for profit growth after a strong year of GDP growth for the New Zealand economy. Port of Tauranga reported a net profit of $39.2 million in the six months to December 31, almost unchanged from $39.3m in the equivalent period in 2012. It recently announced a big deal with Maersk Line and New Zealand freighting company Kotahi that will lead to the port being upgraded to take larger ships.

Top international news

- The Federal Reserve has been surprised by how quickly the US labour market is healing but doesn't want to bring forward a planned rate hike until the recovery looks more convincing, according to minutes of its last policy meeting.

"Labour market conditions had moved noticeably closer to those viewed as normal in the longer run," according to the minutes of the central bank's July 29-30 meeting, which were released yesterday.

Policymakers "generally agreed" that improvements in the labour market over the last year had been "greater than expected", according to the minutes.

The Fed had said in its policy statement after the meetings that there was "significant" slack in the labour market, but the minutes showed many members of the Fed's policy-setting committee thought this characterisation "might have to change before long".

They also showed officials had largely agreed on many elements of a framework for raising interest rates, with almost all policymakers agreeing it would be appropriate to retain the overnight federal funds rate as their key target.

Something else for your morning

- Labour is attacking Mighty River Power over "outrageous" profits, while the company's outgoing boss, Doug Heffernan, has accused Labour of being deceptive and warned politicians against "fiddling" with the electricity market.

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In the past politicians had pulled the strings in the market and it had been a "nightmare", Heffernan said.

MRP yesterday posted a $212m profit for the year, up 84 per cent on the previous year.

- Stuff

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