NZ shares fall as rising yields trim demand; Synlait drops

New Zealand shares fell for a sixth session as rising US bond yields dented investors' appetite for stocks. Synlait Milk led the market lower, dropping to a five-month low.

Friday, October 5th 2018, 5:59PM

by BusinessDesk

The S&P/NZX 50 index declined 42.31 points, or 0.5 percent, to 9,214.87. Within the index, 30 stocks fell, 13 gained and seven were unchanged. Turnover was a quieter than usual $79.1 million. Stocks across Asia were largely weaker, following Wall Street's lead, after the yield on US 10-year Treasuries rose to a seven-year high. Investors expect strong US economic data will prompt the Federal Reserve to hike interest rates more aggressively, making fixed-income assets more attractive. Peter McIntyre, an investment adviser at Craigs Investment Partners, said markets have already priced in three interest rate increases in the US for 2019 and stock markets will remain under pressure for some time. "The interest rate theme is not going to go away," he said. Rate-sensitive stocks fell. Genesis Energy dropped 3.2 percent to $2.42, Investore Property declined 2.6 percent to 1.53, Property For Industry declined 1.4 percent to $1.75, and Mercury NZ was down 1.1 percent at $3.305. McIntyre said tech stocks were hardest hit on Wall Street with the Nasdaq down 1.9 percent compared to the Dow Jones Industrial Average's 0.8 percent decline. New Zealand has a relatively small exposure to tech stocks. Pushpay Holdings fell 1.5 percent to $4.04 and Gentrack Group slid 1 percent to $7.14. Synlait led the market lower, falling 5.7 percent to $10, its lowest close since May 1. The stock has lost 25 percent over the past month as investors cash in gains after a prolonged rally. McIntyre said the company is a high-quality business with strong growth ambitions, but brokers have questioned the valuation. Synlait's price-to-earnings ratio is 25.48 times compared to an average forward ratio of 20.57 times on the NZX50. A2 Milk Co fell 1 percent to $10.59, its fifth straight decline. A2's market capitalisation has dropped to $7.9 billion, making it the fourth biggest local company on the NZX behind Fisher & Paykel Healthcare, Auckland International Airport and Meridian Energy. F&P Health fell 0.8 percent to $15, Auckland Airport rose 1 percent to $7.25, and Meridian slipped 0.3 percent to $3.23. Spark New Zealand comes in below A2 with a market cap of $7.42 billion. It decreased 0.3 percent today to $4.01. Chorus, which was demerged from Telecom seven years ago, rose 0.4 percent to $4.85 and has a market value of $2.09 billion. Air New Zealand fell 1.7 percent to $2.955. The national carrier had a strategic partnership with Singapore Airlines reauthorised today. Summerset Group declined 0.8 percent to $7.58 after buying an 8-hectare site in Papamoa Beach for a $150 million-plus village. The development is Summerset's first in Tauranga and is expected to be built in 2020. Comvita rose 2.2 percent to $6.05, posting the biggest gain on the day. Outside the benchmark index, Eroad declined 0.9 percent to $3.28 after reporting faster sales growth in the second quarter and signalling a robust pipeline for the rest of the financial year. NZ Windfarms gained 2.3 percent to 13.4 cents after appointing First NZ Capital to help sell its Te Rere Hau wind farm.

Tags: Market Close

« A2 still in the dog-box; Genesis, Akl Airport shed dividend rightsNZX closes at lowest level in a month; Rising US bond yields ripple through Asia »

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