What you need to know today

NIKO KLOETEN
Last updated 08:53 16/04/2014

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What you need to know on Wednesday morning

- NZX50 up 12.746 points (0.25 per cent) to 5076.285

- NZD at US86.39 cents, A92.09c, 87.94 yen, 51.65p, €62.53c

- Brent oil at US$108.72 a barrel

- Spot gold at US1301.70 an ounce

- South Island Index market cap at $11.6 billion

What's on today

- Consumers Price Index: Westpac Bank economists are expecting March quarterly inflation of about 0.4 per cent and an annual rate of 1.6 per cent. If it hits 1.7 per cent, as some economists expect, it would be the highest rate of inflation for a couple of years.

But that would only be a "breather" for inflation with price rises expected to move back up to and beyond the Reserve Bank's 2 per cent target midpoint in the next couple of years.

So the Reserve Bank is still expected to lift official interest rates steadily, with the next move up to 3 per cent expected on April 24.

- Genesis share offer: Retail investors are expected to find out today how many shares in state-owned Genesis they will get. The shares will be priced at $1.55, raising $736 million for the Government from the 49 per cent sell-down.

- Stocks to watch: Energy stocks such as recently-listed Meridian and Mighty River Power could benefit from Genesis Energy's stock market listing tomorrow.

Top international news

- The European Union has approved new regulations for high-frequency trading. The rules are in response to concerns high-speed trading could make markets more volatile, such as during the "flash crash" in 2010 when the Dow Jones Industrial Average suddenly dropped by 1000 points.

- US inflation picked up slightly in March, with consumer prices up 0.2 per cent from February. The consumer price index was up 1.5 per cent for the year to March, up from the 1.1 per cent year-on-year increase in February. The Federal Reserve targets 2 per cent inflation.

Something else for your morning

- Fancy a $385 Easter bunny? This offering from Schoc Chocolates in the Wairarapa town of Greytown is at the more-expensive end of Easter treats, but it seems the timing of Easter this year has boosted demand from sweet-toothed consumers.

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