Market close: NZ sharemarket ‘treading water’ as it awaits company results

The New Zealand sharemarket ended the week on a quiet note and a small gain, with one fund managing saying “it is treading water awaiting the latest mini-reporting season.”

The S&P/NZX 50 Index edged ahead 15.92 points or 0.13 per cent to 12,731.13, after falling to an intraday low of 12,661.10. There were 66 gainers and 73 decliners over the whole market, with 56.54 million shares worth $192.11 million changing hands.

Matt Goodson, managing director of Salt Funds Management, said the market has been very quiet. “One concern is that New Zealand could see high inflation measurements here and overseas over the next several months, with price increases all over the place.

“Central Banks are saying they will regard these outcomes as transitory but the measurements are coming off a low base compared to a year ago. Whether the banks will (eventually) take the creeping inflation on is a critical test for the market,” he said.

Market leader Fisher and Paykel Healthcare was hit by a bout of profit-taking, falling 51c to $35.95; Ebos Group was down 20c to $29.75, and Goodman Property Group declined 4c or 1.76 per cent to $2.23.

New listing New Zealand Rural Land Company has entered a conditional agreement to buy 14 South Island dairy farms from the Van Leeuwen Dairy Group, which went into receivership this week, for $114m. Rural Land has organised three separate lease agreements for the farm with an annual rental of $5.8m.

Rural Land’s share price rose 7c or 6.19 per cent to $1.20, and Allied Farmers which has a 50 per cent stake in Rural Land, also went up 7c or 12.5 per cent to 63c.

Goodson commented: “It’s good to see Rural Land doing what it said it would do at the time of listing.”

Mercury moved ahead 19c or 2.81 per cent to $6.94 “on no particular news.” Vector was up 7c or 1.71 per cent to $4.16, Trustpower gained 4c to $8.84, while Contact lost 6c to $7.54, and Meridian declined 8c to $5.33.

Other decliners were Serko decreasing 6c to $6.77; Seeka down 5c to $5.55; Comvita falling 10c or 2.78 per cent to $3.50; Tourism Holdings losing 5c or 1.9 per cent to $2.58; and Scott Technology shedding 5c or 1.98 per cent to $2.48.

Z Energy continued its strong move before announcing its latest result next week, climbing 5c or 1.9 per cent to $2.68; and cinema software firm Vista Group joined in by rising 8c or 3.38 per cent to $2.45.

Other gainers were Ryman Healthcare, up 30c or 2.16 per cent to $14.19; Mainfreight gaining 50c to $71.89; Fletcher Building collecting 13c or 1.82 per cent to $7.27; Delegat Group picking up 25c or 1.74 per cent to $14.65; AFT Pharmaceuticals increasing 12c 2.64 per cent to $4.67; and Livestock Improvement Corporation rising 6c or 5.45 per cent to $1.16.

Global marketer a2 Milk was unchanged at $7.65 on the final day when data is collected by analysts to rebalance the MSCI global index. Goodson said at the moment it’s more likely than not that a2 Milk will exit the index but it’s quite possible they could stay. “

“It’s a coin toss, and we’ll know on May 11. There is a degree of discretion for the index constituents but for a2 Milk it depends on the movement of other stocks around the world,” he said.

SkyCity Entertainment is offering $125m worth of six-year, fixed rate bonds maturing on May 21, 2027, and its share price gained 3c to $3.58. In a business update, SkyCity said the Adelaide casino was consistently performing since the expansion opening in December, Auckland was resilient and there were 38,000 active online customers.

SkyCity said 2021 operating earnings is still expected to be above full-year 2020 but well below pre-Covid and 2019 levels. The Horizon Hotel in Auckland is expected to open next year and the New Zealand International Convention Centre, hit by fire during construction, is likely to be operating in 2024.

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