Market close: NZ sharemarket ignores Wall St sell-off for strong gain

Fisher and Paykel Healthcare did the heavy lifting for the second day running and the unpredictable New Zealand sharemarket ignored another sell-off on Wall Street to finish ahead by more than half a per cent.

It was a game of two halves for the S&P/NZX 50 Index, which fell in the morning and climbed steadily in the afternoon. The index actually went higher after the government announced it was pushing out the phased border reopening from mid-January to late February to guard against the spread of the Covid omicron variant.

The index closed at 12,856.87, up 90.41 points or 0.71 per cent. But it is still down nearly 2 per cent for the year and heading for its worst performance since 2011.

There were 75 gainers and 69 decliners over the whole market on volume of 72.7 million share transactions worth $252.79 million.

The volume was boosted by heavy trading in four Smartshares exchange traded funds – 11.16 million units worth $29m in Global Equities ESG; 10.05 million units worth $26.06m in NZ Government Bond; 4.05 million units worth $14.58m in NZG; and 3.06 million units worth $11.97m in NZ Cash.

Matt Goodson, managing director of Salt Funds Management, said the New Zealand and Australian markets ignored the offshore mood for whatever reason.

“Our market is directionless and I think people have had enough of this year. A bad year is usually followed by a good one, but I’m not so sure this time.

“There is a fair bit of nervousness about next year with inflation far from being transitory and central banks starting to remove the punch bowls and tightening monetary policy,” Goodson said.

This nervousness was certainly prevalent in the United States markets overnight, with some analysts asking whether the rally is over. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 1.23 per cent to 34,932.16; S&P 500 was down 1.14 per cent to 4568.02; and Nasdaq Composite declined 1.24 per cent to 14,980.94.

The S&P/ASX 200 Index was up 0.84 per cent to 7353.8 points at 5.45pm NZ time.

At home, Fisher and Paykel Healthcare climbed a further 79c or 2.45 per cent to $32.62 – a rise of nearly 5.5 per cent in two days – on trade worth $22.75m.

The market leader was helped by energy companies Meridian, up 6.5c to $4.89; Contact gaining 12c to $7.90; Mercury rising 5c to $6.18. Freightways increased 13c to $12.69, and a2 Milk was up 7c to $5.80. Synlait Milk rose 8c or 2.41 per cent to $3.40.

Chorus was down 14c or 1.97 per cent to $6.96; Genesis Energy declined 5.5c or 1.92 per cent to $2.805; Ryman Healthcare shed 10c cent to $12.20; and Summerset Group Holdings decreased 8c to $13.02.

SkyCity Entertainment went under $3 for the first time since late February, slipping 2c to $2.99 as investors worry about the casino operator’s earnings power on the back of the Covid restrictions and fears.

Hallenstein Glasson was down 10c to $6.99 after telling shareholders at the annual meeting that group sales fell 10.14 per cent during the first 20 weeks of the present financial year compared with the same period last year because of the Covid restrictions and store closures in Australia and New Zealand. The clothing retailer expects full-year profitability to be adversely impacted.

Fellow retailer Briscoe Group was down 6c to $6.75, and Michael Hill International declined 3c or 2.52 per cent to $1.16.

Other decliners were Scott Technology falling 10c or 2.99 per cent to $3.25, and South Port New Zealand shedding 31c or 3.56 per cent to $8.39.

Pushpay Holdings had a better day, rising 5c or 4.07 per cent to $1.28; Skellerup Holdings was up 13c or 2.15 per cent to $6.17; Vista Group increased 6c or 2.83 per cent to $2.18; Rakon gained 13c or 7.22 per cent to $1.93 on a broker’s upgrade; and Pacific Edge collected 5c or 3.85 per cent to $1.35.

New listing Winton Land was up 8c or 2.15 per cent to $3.80; Investore gained 4c or 2.09 per cent to $1.95; Gentrack rose 10c or 5.56 per cent to $1.90; Allied Farmers increased 4c or 4.82 per cent to 87c; and ikeGPS collected 3c or 3.61 per cent to 86c.

Precinct Properties gained 2c to $1.63 after announcing the $157m development of 124 Halsey St and Flowers Building as the third stage of the Wynyard Quarter Innovation campus in Auckland. Precinct has 96 per cent pre-committed leasing for Bowen Campus stage two in Wellington and 91 per cent for One Queen Street in Auckland.

AMP told the market it will delist from the NZX in February and concentrate solely on its Australian ASX listing to simplify shareholder administration ahead of its Private Markets demerger during the first half of next year. AMP’s share price was down 1c to 96c.

Source: Read Full Article