Weekend Herald

Energy shares shrug off huge selling pressure

- Graham Skellern

They were impressive figures. Nearly $1.3 billion worth of Contact and Meridian Energy shares were traded as offshore exchange-traded funds rebalancin­g their weightings, but it didn’t unnerve the New Zealand sharemarke­t.

The S&P/NZX 50 Index gained 48.18 points or 0.38 per cent to 12,684.73, as global markets show more confidence. On Wall

Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average broke through the 34,000 points mark for the first time.

On the local market there were 72 gainers and 61 decliners and volume soared to an unpreceden­ted level of 242.22 million share transactio­ns worth $1.45b because of the iShares Global Clean Energy Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) selling activity.

Contact and Meridian rose all week, defying prediction­s that their share prices would fall, as the two BlackRock iShares funds reduced their weightings in the renewable energy stocks from over 4 per cent to just under 1 per cent. The S&P global index the funds track are adding 51 new constituen­ts.

Contact closed at $7.68, up 18c or 2.4 per cent, with 81.48m shares worth $626.12m changing hands. Meridian was up 5c to $6.05 on trade of 106.13m shares worth $642.75m. More than 10 per cent of Contact’s total shares and about 5 per cent of Meridian’s

changed hands. Sam Dickie, senior portfolio manager with Fisher Funds, said “we have seen a collapse in volatility in the markets and now they are very relaxed about economic recovery and getting out of the Covid woods.”

Fisher and Paykel Healthcare hada strong day, rising 81c or 2.48 per cent to $33.50; Ebos Group was up 33c to $30.28; Fletcher Building gained 14c or 1.99 per cent to $7.18; Z Energy climbed 6c or 2.32 per cent to $2.65; and SkyCity Entertainm­ent picked up 4c to $3.45.

Napier Port rose 10c or 29 per cent to $3.55 after upgrading its full-year operating earnings forecast to $39m-$42m, from the previous $34m-$38m.

Apple grower Scales Corporatio­n, which exports out of Napier, gained 7c to $4.60.

Other port companies had mixed days.

Port of Tauranga was down 12c to $7.43;

South Port New Zealand fell 9c to $8.80; and Marsden Maritime Holdings, owner of Northport, was up 9c to $6.14.

Auckland Internatio­nal Airport fell 12c or 1.6 per cent to $7.38 but its latest statistics showed increased activity.

Other decliners were Mainfreigh­t, down $1.21 or 1.73 per cent to $68.54; a2 Milk losing 8c to $8.83; Ryman Healthcare declining 18c to $14.47; Restaurant Brands falling 15c to $13; and Vector off 6c to $4.05.

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