housing market,

PHOTO: ROBERT KITCHIN/STUFF Reserve Bank Governor Adrian Orr.

OPINION: Both around the world and in New Zealand, sharemarket gyrations have delivered much of the financial drama of recent weeks, as the enormous implications of the spreading coronavirus take hold.

At the beginning of the week the Dow Jones Industrial Average–an index that tracks some of America’s biggest, blue-chip public companies–posted its largest, one-day drop in history. It plunged nearly 13 per cent.

Closer to home, the NZX fell more than twenty per cent from its peak in February, putting the sharemarket in bear territory in just a few head-spinning weeks. 

Much slower to react than the volatile price of equities is the housing market, where a downturn may take months to even register. In the meantime, shares will remain on centre stage.

The NZX even bounced this week. A massive economic rescue package proposed in the United States lifted sentiment yesterday. And even before that New Zealand domestic action helped. There was the promise of prolonged rock-bottom interest rates of just .25 percent and other special measures by the Reserve Bank.  


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