Otago Daily Times

Market commentary


WELLINGTON: New Zealand share prices ended with a slight gain despite the market’s two top stocks — F&P Healthcare and a2 Milk — losing their shine as trade thinned out before the long weekend.

A 20c or 3.75% rebound in power generator Meridian Energy to $5.54 helped lift the index into slightly positive territory, the S&P/NZX50 Index closing 63 points, or 0.5% higher, at 12,470.34.

The day’s volume came to 60 million shares, worth $188 million.

Forsyth Barr broker David Price said trade volumes were light, repeating the trend of the past few days.

Respirator­y products maker F&P Healthcare lost six cents to $35.86 and alternativ­e dairy company a2 Milk dropped 8c to $15.37.

While F&P Healthcare’s business had largely been a beneficiar­y of the Covid19 pandemic, Mr Price said that as cases kept going up, it appeared rates of hospitalis­ation were going down, and people wanted to discern where the stock stood..

In a2 Milk’s case, short selling in the stock out of Australia was up as the company continued to grapple with a curtailed daigou trade in infant formula out of Melbourne, which remains in lockdown.

Many of a2 Milk’s daigou, or unofficial traders, are based in Melbourne.

Manuka honey company Comvita, which on Thursday held an upbeat annual meeting, had its share price lift by six cents to $3.35.

Comvita said it had experience­d a strong start to its financial year, with doubledigi­t revenue growth in the first quarter.

Auckland Internatio­nal Airport, which held its annual meeting week, saw its share price drop by 2c to $7.36.

The company said it did not expect an internatio­nal aviation recovery for more than three years.

Market debutant Rua Bioscience, a medicinal cannabis company, retained its postlistin­g gains, the 50c shares ending at 70c, up 2c on the day.

Among the lower cap issues, data processing company Solution Dynamics rallied by 19c cents to $3.15 after holding its annual meeting, where reiterated its previous guidance for 2021 of earnings in a range of $2 million to $2.5 million.

Technology company Eroad, which has had a strong run throughout year, ended 10c higher at $4.15. —

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