Market close: NZ sharemarket makes small gain as investors await next results

The strong influence of Fisher and Paykel Healthcare pushed the New Zealand sharemarket to a small gain – as investors wait for the next round of corporate results.

The S&P/NZX 50 Index increased 42.13 points or 0.34 per cent to 12,577.48 on steady trading of 35.2 million shares worth $150.35 million. There were 65 gainers and 62 decliners over the whole market.

With market capitalisation of $19.76 billion, Fisher and Paykel Healthcare makes up 14 per cent of the index’s weighting. The market leader steered the index by rising $1.40 or 4.24 per cent to $34.40 – its highest level for nearly three months.

Nigel Scott, investment adviser with Craigs Investment Partners, said Covid is still active in the world and Fisher and Paykel is leading into its March financial result which will be announced next month.

He said the New Zealand market was reasonably fully priced, though it has good dividend yield, the energy stocks are finding their feet following the exchange-traded funds selling, and investors are trying to add growth stocks from offshore.

“The end of March results will start coming through in a week’s time and they will provide some market direction.”

Chorus continued to rebound, gaining 15c or 2.3 per cent to $6.68 after reaching a low of $16.41 last week. Fletcher Building was up 11c to $7.14; Seeka rose another 10c or 1.9 per cent to $5.35; and The Colonial Motor Company increased 22c or 2.52 per cent to $8.95.

EROAD keeps running strong, rising 9c to $5.64; The Bankers Investment Trust gained 11c or 4.76 per cent to $2.42; and Just Life Group put on 8c or 9.09 per cent to 96c.

The energy stocks have lost their strong volatility. Meridian was down 13c or 2.31 per to $5.49; Contact was up 2c to $7.51; Mercury declined 3c to $6.55; and Genesis shed 5.5c to $3.375.

Mainfreight was down $1.09 to $68.21; Ebos Group shed 30 c to $29.80; a2 Milk fell 8c to $8.23; Freightways lost 14c to $11.10; Air New Zealand declined 3.5c or 2.01 per cent to $1.705; Scales Corporation decreased 8c or 1.7 per cent to $4.62; and Vista Group lost 6c or 2.52 per cent to $2.32.

Property companies Argosy was down 3c or 1.97 per cent to $1.49; Precinct fell 2.5c to $1.635; and Stride declined 2c to $2.28.

Tourism Holdings found favourable buying support, rising 5c or 1.85 per cent to $2.75 after reporting an improvement, albeit it will record a loss for the 2021 financial year. Tourism Holdings is forecasting a net loss of $14m-$18m, compared with analysts’ predictions of $21.5m. Net debt is not expected to exceed $90m but it will increase in the second half as the company is re-investing in new fleet to replace the camper vans that continue to be sold.

Insurer AMP fell 4c or 3.2 per cent to $1.21 after delivering its first-quarter report. Australian wealth management assets increased A$1.6b ($1.72b) to A$125.7b, reflecting improved investment markets, and New Zealand assets under management decreased to A$12.2b from the previous quarter of A$12.4b, in part due to the exit of a large corporate superannuation client. AMP paid A$448m in pension payments.

Carpet maker Cavalier Corporation’s chief executive Paul Alston is stepping down after six years in the role when a replacement is recruited, and its share price slipped 1c or 2.63 per cent to 37c.

QEX Logistics, currently suspended from trading due to non-compliance with the NZX Listing Rules on board composition, has decided to delist from the main board. QEX has been unable to appoint the required number of qualified independent directors.

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