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The Markets

NZ shares nudge higher on last full day's trading for the year

New Zealand shares rose in the last full day of trading for 2018 on subdued volumes with many investors out for the Christmas and New Year holiday. Summerset Group led the market higher.

Friday, December 28th 2018, 5:36PM

by BusinessDesk

The S&P/NZX 50 increased 8.97 points, or 0.1 percent, to 8,783.49, its third straight gain. Within the index, 33 stocks gained, 11 fell and six were unchanged. Turnover was a modest $45.8 million.

Stock markets across Asia were broadly stronger after a late rally on a volatile Wall Street, with Australia's S&P/ASX 200 index rising 0.5 percent in afternoon trading, Singapore's Straits-Times index up 0.7 percent, and South Korea's Kospi 200 index up 0.6 percent.

The domestic market's gain was more sedate, reflecting the holiday period, but also the NZX50's 5 percent increase so far this year is second only to India's Sensex index on the Bombay Stock Exchange among the benchmark measures across the Asia Pacific tracked by Reuters.

"At the moment it's just trying to battle through to the New Year," said Grant Davies, an investment adviser at Hamilton Hindin Greene in Christchurch. "People are waiting for the dust to settle."

Summerset rose 3.4 percent to $6.48, the biggest gain on the benchmark index today with 133,000 shares changing hands, half its average volume. The NZX50's recently added Vista Group International was up 2.8 percent at $3.70 on a volume of just 17,000, while ANZ Bank rose 2.5 percent to $25.35 and Westpac Banking Corp gained 2.1 percent to $25.85.

Spark New Zealand was the most traded stock with 867,000 shares changing hands, well short of its 90-day average of 3.1 million. It fell 0.7 percent to $4.17. Kiwi Property Group slipped 0.4 percent to $1.365 on a volume of 830,000 and Meridian Energy increased 0.3 percent to $3.41 on 822,000 shares.

Auckland International Airport fell 2.9 percent to $7.14 on a volume of 590,000, half its average, and giving back some of yesterday's 2.4 percent gain. Mercury NZ declined 1.7 percent to $3.54 on light volumes.

A2 Milk rose 0.7 percent to $10.96 and is on track to post the strongest performance for the year, up 36.3 percent. Trade Me increased 0.3 percent to $6.31, just below a $6.45 takeover bid by private equity firm Apax Partners. It's on track for a 36 percent gain this year.

SLI Systems was unchanged at 64 cents and is on track to be the best performing stock of the year with a 220 percent gain. The company is being bought for 65 cents by Texan firm ESW Holdings, which last week crossed the 90 percent threshold needed to enforce mop-up provisions.

Tags: Market Close

« NZ shares rise as blue chips rally into holiday period; Spark gains Local equity market ends year on a firm note »

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ANZ 5.79 4.55 4.79 4.99
ANZ Special - 4.05 4.29 4.49
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