Otago Daily Times

Market commentary


WELLINGTON: It was deja vu on the New Zealand sharemarke­t. The blue chip stocks were still volatile, trading was again cautious and the market shed another 0.5%, having fallen in seven of the past eight trading days.

The S&P/NZX 50 Index closed down 68.90 points, or 0.54%, to 12,761.13 after reaching an intraday high of 12,903.46. The index began the year at 13,091.64 points and rushed to an alltime high of 13,558.19 on January 8.

There were 68 gainers and 76 decliners over the whole market on improved trading of 72.6 million shares worth $203.49 million.

Fat Prophets head of research Greg Smith said the local market has underperfo­rmed because ‘‘we don’t have the technology growth stocks like in United States and the resource companies in Australia’’.

‘‘Our market is more defensive with a dominance of utilities which can soften a bit by interest rate movements,’’ he said.

‘‘I think you can put the underperfo­rmance down to concern about rising inflation and interest rates going up, and the implicatio­ns of tougher loantovalu­e ratios on the housing market.’’

Driving the market down were Fisher & Paykel Healthcare, falling 31c to $32.14 on trade worth $30 million; Meridian, which reports next Friday, decreasing 28.5c, or 4.36%, to $6.245; Contact Energy declining 11c to $7.59; a2 Milk shedding 12c to $10.79; Auckland Internatio­nal Airport falling 7c to $7.09; and Ryman Healthcare losing 38c, or 2.48%, to $14.95.

There was unusual activity in Z Energy, 9 million shares worth $25.24 million changing hands, and its share price slipped 2c to $2.80.

Ebos Group, Australasi­a’s leading distributo­r of healthcare, medical and pharmaceut­ical consumer products, neared a new peak of $30 after rising 30c to $29.80. Christchur­chbased Skellerup Holdings, which supplies industrial and dairy rubber products, hit the $4 mark for the first time in two years after rising 6c, or 1.52%.

Mercury Energy gained 19c, or 2.75%, to $7.09 on trade worth $17.1 million; Chorus increased 11c to $8.47; topsyturvy Restaurant Brands picked up 41c, or 3.48%, to $12.18; and Sanford recovered 19c, or 4.09%, to $4.84 despite its Chinese mussel exports from the Havelock processing plant being suspended.

Summerset Group Holdings climbed 26c, or 2.02%, to $13.15; PGG Wrightson gained 5c to $3.30; and Heartland Group Holdings increased 4c, or 2.13%, to $1.92.

Wine exporter Delegat Group fell 19c to $14.21 after reaching an intraday low of $13.75; online travel provider Serko dropped 12c to $5.50; and cinema software firm Vista Group was down 9c to $1.51.

Longstandi­ng financial services company AMP fell 17c, or 10.3%, to $1.48 after producing a mixed result for 2020. AMP’s revenue was down 12.6% to $A2.33 billion ($NZ2.5 billion) but it turned around a previous loss of $A2.46 billion to a profit of $A177 million.

The result was overshadow­ed by the withdrawal of United Statesbase­d Ares Management’s takeover offer worth $A6 billion, or $A1.85 per share, though AMP said it was still talking with Ares about AMP Capital as part of its portfolio review. —

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