Shares inch up as in­vestors tread wa­ter

Ki­wis hold fire as they wait for leads from off­shore

The New Zealand Herald - - Business -

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 per cent, 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 are largely tread­ing wa­ter, wait­ing for leads from off­shore, he said.

Mar­ket sen­ti­ment may 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, to­day’s busi­ness out­look sur­vey from the New Zealand In­sti­tute of Eco­nomic Re­search is un­likely to move the mar­ket with busi­ness con­fi­dence still tepid, said Wil­liamson.

Ear­lier yes­ter­day, Fitch So­lu­tions Macro Re­search said New Zealand’s econ­omy will likely grow at a slower pace than Trea­sury is fore­cast­ing due to weak busi­ness con­fi­dence and de­clin­ing con­sumer con­fi­dence.

“We fore­cast real GDP growth to come in at 2.6 per cent in 2019 and 2.3 per cent in 2020 com­pared to the Trea­sury’s more bullish fore­casts of 3 per cent and 3.2 per cent re­spec­tively,” it said.

Wil­liams com­mented: “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.

“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 per cent to $2.28 and was the most heav­ily traded stock.

How­ever, even though vol­umes were larger than usual, Wil­liamson said the com­pany’s ac­tual on-mar­ket trad­ing was very light. Spark New Zealand had the sec­ond high­est vol­ume, shed­ding 0.6 per cent to $4.14. Al­most 2 mil­lion of its shares changed hands, com­pared with its av­er­age 3.2 mil­lion over the past three months. Merid­ian En­ergy was third, fall­ing 0.7 per cent to $3.5850. Ge­n­e­sis En­ergy fell 1.5 per cent to $2.57. Precinct Prop­er­ties and Z En­ergy also saw fairly strong vol­ume, with Precinct Prop­er­ties down 0.7 per cent to $1.47 and Z En­ergy up 0.2 per cent at $5.62.

The top mover was Port of Tau­ranga, which gained 1.8 per cent at $5.14. Vista Group added 1.6 per cent

to $3.92 and Fisher & Paykel Health­care was up 1.5 per cent to $13.8. Fletcher Build­ing added 1 per cent to $4.99.

In the other di­rec­tion, the big­gest fall was in Sky Net­work Tele­vi­sion, which shed 3 per cent to $1.92.

A2 Milk was un­changed at $11.35. Econ­o­mists are ex­pect­ing dairy prices to show a mod­er­ate rise in this week’s Global Dairy Trade auc­tion, with ASB Bank tip­ping a 1 per cent in whole milk pow­der prices and BNZ ex­pect­ing a “mod­er­ate lift”.

Syn­lait Milk rose 1 per cent to $9.36. Late Fri­day it said reg­is­tra­tion of its Dun­sandel plant in the South Is­land has been re­newed by Chi­nese au­thor­i­ties for a fur­ther four years.

Photo / Nick Reed

Kath­mandu was the most heav­ily traded stock, gain­ing 1.3 per cent to $2.28.

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