AUCKLAND: New Zealand shares inched higher in quiet trading as investors await news from offshore. Kathmandu recovered some of its recent losses.
The S&P/NZX 50 index rose 8.97 points, or 0.1%, to 8968.55. Within the index, 21 stocks rose, 12 were unchanged and 17 fell. Turnover was $80.6 million.
Grant Williamson, a director at Hamilton Hindin Greene, said there was ‘‘no theme’’ to the trading and ‘‘all of the movements are pretty tiny’’.
Investors were largely treading water, waiting for leads from offshore, he said.
Market sentiment might be affected by United States earnings, with several banks due to release quarterly results this week, the ongoing US government shutdown and the vote on Brexit this week.
Domestically, tomorrow’s business outlook survey from the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research is unlikely to move the market, with business confidence still tepid, Mr Williamson said.
Earlier yesterday, Fitch Solutions Macro Research said New Zealand’s economy was likely to grow at a slower pace than Treasury was forecasting, due to weak business confidence and declining consumer confidence.
‘‘We forecast real GDP growth to come in at 2.6% in 2019 and 2.3% in 2020 compared to the Treasury’s more bullish forecasts of 3% and 3.2% respectively,’’ it said.
‘‘I do get the feeling that we are not going to see too much movement in this market unless we get some large movement offshore,’’ he said. ‘‘I think investors are really waiting for the February reporting season.’’
Kathmandu, which has been under pressure since reporting a disappointing Christmas trading season, gained 1.3% to $2.28 and was the most heavily traded stock yesterday. While volumes were larger than usual, he said actual onmarket trading was very light.
Spark New Zealand had the second highest volume, shedding 0.6% to $4.14. Almost 2 million of its shares changed hands.
The top mover was Port of Tauranga, which gained 1.8% at $5.14.
Synlait Milk rose 1% to $9.36. Late Friday it said registration of its Dunsandel plant in the South Island has been renewed by Chinese authorities for another four years.
Disappointing Chinese trade data gave Australia’s mining and energy sectors a whack and kept the broader market flat after what promised to be a positive start to the week.
The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index closed 1.2 points, or 0.02% lower, at 5773.4 as early gains on USChina trade hopes evaporated.
The broader All Ordinaries was down 1.6 points, or 0.03%, at 5833.2. — BusinessDesk/AAP