AUCKLAND: New Zealand shares ended a nineday losing streak yesterday, a2 Milk Co and bluechip stocks such as Spark New Zealand, Mercury NZ and Auckland International Airport driving the recovery.
The S&P/NZX 50 index increased 122.04 points, or 1.4%, to 8843.24. Within the index, 28 stocks gained, 17 fell and five were unchanged. Turnover was $129.4 million.
The benchmark index fell 4.1% for the week. Widespread selling across the globe on Thursday accounted for much of the NZX 50’s decline and traders struggled to attribute the turn in sentiment to a particular event.
‘‘Yesterday’s move was the fifthworst oneday performance we’ve seen, so it’s not much of a surprise that we’re seeing some bounce,’’ portfolio manager at Nikko Asset Management James Lindsay said.
‘‘Sometimes things are driven by oneoff events, and sometimes it’s a collection of things — rising interest rates, trade tensions, etc, built up to a point where that was enough.’’
Despite hitting a fourmonth low this week, the NZX 50 is still up so far this year, one of the few equity benchmarks across Asia in positive territory. The New Zealand bourse’s 5.5% dividend yield is the thirdhighest behind Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 index and Pakistan’s Karachi 100.
A2 led the market higher on the secondlargest volume, rising 9.4% to $9.89, as 1.7 million shares changed hands. Spark was the most active stock, with 3.5 million shares traded, and gained 0.9% to $3.86.
Bluechip stocks dominated trading volumes. Meridian Energy was up 2.2% at $3.21 on 1.7 million shares traded. Mercury gained 0.3% to $3.29 on a volume of 1.7 million shares and Auckland Airport rose 3.5% to $7.055, as 1.6 million shares changed hands.
Air New Zealand fell 0.7% to $2.86 on a volume of 1.6 million shares, its lowest close since May 2017. Kiwi Property Group declined 0.4% to $1.35 on volume of 1.3 million shares.
NZX fell 1.9% to $1.05, the biggest decline on the NZX 50, and in heavier trading than usual. The stock market operator is facing a challenge from shareholder Elevation Capital over its board makeup and longterm strategy.
Outside the benchmark index, Abano Healthcare rose 1.9% to $8.15 on lighter than normal trading. Shareholder Fisher Funds Management yesterday disclosed it sold its 8.8% stake in the medical investor.
Pacific Edge climbed 14% to 33c after receiving its preliminary reimbursement rate under the US Centres for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The 1.4 million shares traded were more than seven times the 90day average.
A The Australian sharemarket finished flat after its worst trading week in almost three years.
The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up 11.9 points, or 0.2%, at 5895.7 points, while the broader All Ordinaries was up 13 points, or 0.22%, at 6006.5.
The SPI200 futures index was up 29 points, or 0.5%, at 5854, while the Australian dollar was buying US71.26c from US70.70c on Thursday.
Rakuten Securities Australia chief operating officer Nick Twidale said there had been some consolidation during yesterday’s session but warned all the influences seen over the past few days were still relevant.
Investors watching the forthcoming US session would be focusing on the news about remaining concerns over USChina relations, as well as the disconnect between the US Federal Reserve and political executive, Mr Twidale said.
There were two scenarios, he said. Either there would be a small correction on US markets, the US dollar would come off and stocks stabilise — with some profittaking ahead of the weekend softening volatility.
Or the US market would fail to correct and Australian stocks would fall with lower liquidities and currencies, including the yen, NZ dollar and Footsie, all going topside.
‘‘If anything happens over the weekend it’ll be a very nasty start to the next week,’’ he said. — BusinessDesk/AAP