NZ dollar near 10-month low

Monday 01 May 2017 08:40 AM

NZ dollar near 10-month low as US growth ahead of Fed meeting

By Paul McBeth

May 1 (BusinessDesk) – The New Zealand dollar traded near a 10-month low after data showed sluggish consumer spending weighed on US economic growth, ahead of the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy meeting this week which will include an update on the economy.

The kiwi traded at 68.56 US as at 8am in Wellington from 68.66 cents on Friday in New York, hovering near the 68.45 cents low it reached on Thursday. The trade-weighted index declined to 74.55 from 74.72 last week.

New Zealand’s dollar fell 1.5 percent against the greenback in April, a month when heightened uncertainty in the global environment kept markets volatile. The greenback has been benefiting from expectations the world’s biggest economy’s strength will spur higher interest rates. Figures last week showed gross domestic product grew at an annualised rate of 0.7 percent in the March quarter, falling short of forecasts on weaker consumer spending, while labour data showed rising employment costs ahead of the Fed’s policy review this week.

„The market appeared to brush off the weaker headline US GDP report after underlying details gave a better forward-looking picture,” ANZ Bank New Zealand chief economist Cameron Bagrie said in a note.

Bagrie said if the kiwi’s decline below 68.60 US cents is sustained, it could push to mid-66 cents. „This weakness is at odds with local data, but global nuances are dominating. The finger can partly be pointed at protectionist nuances.”

The local currency was little changed at 52.96 British pence from 53 pence on Friday in New York after figures showed the UK economy grew slower than expected and as British leaders reached an agreement with their European Union counterparts on formal guidelines for Brexit talks. The kiwi fell to 62.80 euro cents from 63 cents last week.

The New Zealand dollar traded at 91.74 Australian cents from 91.63 cents last week and fell to 4.7238 Chinese yuan from 4.7307 yuan. It dropped to 76.28 yen from 76.58 yen last week.



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IEGA supports collaborative pricing process

IEGA supports collaborative process to progress transmission pricing methodology

Small generators support the call by others for a collaborative process to be followed as the Electricity Authority progresses its review of the transmission pricing methodology.

“We have consistently sought the input of multiple government agencies into this significant decision,” Independent Electricity Generators Association spokesperson Grant Smith says “There is now an opportunity to engage relevant government agencies and the industry in developing a new cost benefit and the implementation details.”

“We expect a collaborative approach would provide transparency about the cost benefit assumptions and result in a more durable outcome” Smith says.

Government agencies could provide guidance on the implications of any transmission pricing methodology on government policy as well as achieving consistency across government on relevant cost benefit assumptions. The technical expertise within the industry, demonstrated in the volume of submissions so far, is a resource for the Authority to tap into.

“In addition, our members support staged implementation. In a single step completely removing a price signal which currently encourages people to consume less electricity at peak times, and our members to generate at peak times, is untested.” Smith says “We are concerned about whether there is sufficient distribution and transmission infrastructure to cope with a marked increase in peak volumes and, most importantly, the implications for electricity consumers.”

Small generators play a key role in competing with transmission to deliver electricity to consumers. Smith says “The IEGA has a valuable contribution to make to a transmission pricing methodology that would deliver benefits to consumers over the long term.”


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Apple reinvents the wireless headphone with AirPods

“AirPods are the first headphones to deliver a breakthrough wireless audio experience, and with the new Apple W1 chip they deliver innovative features including high quality sound, great battery life and automatic setup,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “AirPods are simple and magical to use, with no switches or buttons, automatically connecting to all your Apple devices simply and seamlessly, and letting you access Siri with just a double tap. We can’t wait for users to try them with iPhone 7 and Apple Watch Series 2.”

With AirPods, setting up and using wireless headphones has never been easier. Just open the charging case near your iPhone and with a simple tap, AirPods are immediately set up with all the devices signed into your iCloud account, including your iPad and Mac. AirPods are connected and ready to go when you are, just put them in your ears when you want to listen. AirPods can intelligently and seamlessly switch from a call on your iPhone to listening to music on your Apple Watch.

Apple & Nike launch Apple Watch Nike+


Apple Watch Nike+, like all Apple Watch Series 2 models, features built-in GPS to track pace, distance and route, so users can run without an iPhone. With the brightest display Apple has ever made, metrics are easy to read, no matter the sun’s glare, and if users decide to take a post-run dip in the pool, Apple Watch Nike+ is water resistant 50 meters, for swimming.

The Nike Sport band is crafted from the same strong, flexible fluoroelastomer as the original Apple Watch Sport Band, but now it’s perforated for even better ventilation and sweat management. The lightweight band is available in four vibrant, two-tone color combinations that are unique to the collection. Apple Watch Nike+ features two exclusive watch faces inspired by Nike’s iconic style that can be easily personalized with useful apps like Activity Rings, Heart Rate, Stopwatch and Weather, helping runners stay informed at a glance. 

Apple introduces Apple Watch Series 2

Apple Watch is even more personal with new watch faces including Minnie Mouse, Activity and Numerals. Simply swipe edge-to-edge to swap out a new watch face and with the new Face Gallery in the Apple Watch app on iPhone, it’s even easier to customize watch faces and discover third-party apps.

Apple Watch Line-up

Apple Watch Series 2 is available with all the new fitness and health capabilities in lightweight aluminum or stainless steel cases, paired with a wide variety of gorgeous new band colors. 

Apple Watch Series 1 is available in lightweight aluminum and combines the new powerful dual-core processor and GPU with all the incredible features of the original Apple Watch, making it up to 50 percent faster and available to even more customers, starting at just $269 (US).

Apple Watch Edition now comes in a beautiful ceramic, that embodies craftsmanship with a lustrous white case and all the incredible features of Apple Watch Series 2. Ceramic is one of the hardest materials in the world — more than four times harder than stainless steel — with a beautiful, white, pearl-like finish, making Apple Watch Edition extremely scratch-resistant.

Apple introduces iPhone 7 & iPhone 7 Plus

The new iPhone features the brightest, most colorful Retina HD display ever in an iPhone, now with a wide color gamut for cinema-standard colors, greater color saturation and the best color management in the smartphone industry. An all-new, advanced, solid-state Home button on iPhone 7 is designed to be durable and responsive, and working in tandem with the new Taptic Engine, provides more precise and customizable tactile feedback.

Featuring iOS 10, the Biggest iOS Release Ever

iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus come with iOS 10, the biggest release ever of the world’s most advanced mobile operating system. iOS 10 introduces a huge update to Messages that delivers more expressive and animated ways to message friends and family, the ability for Siri to do more by working with apps, new ways to interact with apps and even more places to use 3D Touch, beautifully redesigned Maps, Photos, Apple Music and News apps, and the Home app, delivering a simple and secure way to manage home automation products in one place. iOS 10 also opens up incredible opportunities for developers with Siri, Maps, Phone and Messages APIs, allowing customers to do more than ever with the apps they love to use.

Apple Music Festival to light up London this September

“I love London and performing at the Roundhouse! I can’t wait to see you there. It’s going to be magic!” – Alicia Keys

“We’re massively excited to play Apple Music Festival for many reasons, but mainly because it’ll be our first proper London show after the release of our new album, Wild World. The Roundhouse is such a beautiful venue and it’s in our hometown, so I can’t think of a better place to play a bunch of new songs for the first time.” – Bastille

“I’m so excited to go back to London, which is a special place for me to visit and I’m really looking forward to performing at the Apple Music Festival. It’s also their 10th birthday! It’s going to be a great party.” – Britney Spears

“I’m very excited to be headlining at this year’s Apple Music Festival at the Roundhouse in London, and for everyone around the world to be able to watch it live on Apple Music.” – Calvin Harris

“I am so excited to be playing at the Roundhouse. I love London and can’t wait to share this fantastic experience at the Apple Music Festival with my fans.” – Elton John

“We are looking forward to returning to the iconic Roundhouse this year to play one of our favorite festivals, the Apple Music Festival, and perform new music for our fans!” – OneRepublic 

“We’re really looking forward to being a part of this year’s Apple Music Festival. We loved playing at The Roundhouse for the 2013 Festival and are excited to be heading back this year.” – The 1975

Apple announces environmental progress in China

Lens Technology has committed to power all of its glass production for Apple with 100 percent renewable energy by the end of 2018, as part of Apple’s industry-leading supply chain clean energy program announced last year. Lens is the first supplier to make a clean energy commitment for all of its Apple production, and will meet its goal through an unprecedented power purchase agreement with local wind projects.

Apple is working with suppliers to help transform the environmental landscape in China, and is proud to announce all 14 of its final assembly sites in China are now compliant with UL’s Zero Waste to Landfill validation. The UL standard certifies all of their manufacturing waste is reused, recycled, composted, or, when necessary, converted into energy. Since the program began in January 2015, the sites have diverted more than 140,000 metric tons of waste from landfills.

“We want to show the world that you can manufacture responsibly and we’re working alongside our suppliers to help them lower their environmental impact in China,” said Lisa Jackson, Apple’s vice president of Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives. “We congratulate Lens for their bold step, and hope by sharing the lessons we’ve learned in our transition to renewable energy, our suppliers will continue to access clean power projects, moving China closer to its green manufacturing goals.”

“Our power purchase agreement is the first of its kind in southern China and we hope it will serve as an example for other companies looking to transition to cleaner, more economical sources of power,” said Lens CEO Zhou Qunfei. “We’re pleased to be the first supplier to commit to covering all of our Apple production with renewable energy, and proud to source from local Hunan wind farms to power our facilities in Changsha.”

Lens’ manufacturing with Apple currently includes two facilities in Changsha, Hunan province. Wind energy will cover 100 percent of the energy consumed producing Apple products at Lens facilities by 2018, avoiding nearly 450,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide each year, equivalent to the energy use in 380,000 Chinese homes.

Celebrating Brooklyn’s first Apple Store

Thousands of customers turned out Saturday for the grand opening of Apple Williamsburg, the first Apple Store in Brooklyn. Customers began queuing Friday on Bedford Ave before midnight, and when the store opened at 10 a.m. Saturday the line stretched around the block.

Apple Williamsburg opens in Brooklyn on Saturday

Apple’s first Brooklyn store opens tomorrow at the corner of Bedford and N. 3rd in Williamsburg. To complement local architecture, Apple carefully rebuilt the original facade, replicating the historic archways that welcome customers to the store. The polished concrete floors and timber ceilings are lit by dozens of custom-built pendant lights made by a local artisan.