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The Markets

Uncertainty over Britain's exit from the European Union keeps investors on edge

New Zealand shares fell, with markets weaker across Asia as the uncertainty over Britain's exit from the European Union keeps investors on edge. Fletcher Building dropped as investors remain wary of the construction firm.

Wednesday, March 13th 2019, 9:33PM

by BusinessDesk

The S&P/NZX 50 Index decreased 9.56 points, or 0.1 percent, to 9.387.69. Within the index, 20 stocks fell, 24 rose, and six were unchanged. Turnover was $192 million.

Brexit fears weighed across Asia after UK Prime Minister Theresa May after the House of Commons rejected her latest attempts to broker a transitioned exit from the EU. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 Index was down 0.4 percent in afternoon trading, Singapore's Straits Times Index fell 0.8 percent and Hong Kong's Hang Seng dropped 0.6 percent.

"On a more regional basis, it's just a bit soft following on from the uncertainty around Brexit and more data-points a bit softer globally," said Shane Solly, a portfolio manager at Harbour Asset Management.

Fletcher Building fell 3.6 percent to $4.60 on a volume of 1.4 million shares. The country's biggest listed building company has been under pressure since reporting earnings last month and disappointing some investors who'd been hoping for an early capital return on the sale of Formica. Other investors remain wary about its proposals to re-enter vertical construction.

The dual-listed banks were also weaker, with Westpac Banking Corp falling 2.5 percent to $27.30 and Australia & New Zealand Banking Group down 0.7 percent at $27.65. AMP fell 2.5 percent to $2.33.

Fisher & Paykel Healthcare, which has been buoyed in recent weeks by its settlement with rival ResMed, declined 1.1 percent to $14.67 on lighter volume than usual of 551,000 shares. A2 Milk Co fell 1.1 percent to $14.16 on a volume of 418,000, less than half its 90-day average.

Sky Network Television rose for a second day, up 2.3 percent at $1.33. Volume of 9.1 million shares was almost 15 times its 616,000 three-monthly average. The pay-TV operator has been trading more heavily than usual and hit an all-time low this week as investors remain cautious about its ability to adapt to a new operating environment.

Solly said upcoming index reweightings may also be driving bigger trading volumes in Sky TV.

Chorus closed at a record, up 1.9 percent at $5.685 on a volume of 2.2 million shares, more than four times its recent average. Solly said the network company's regular income stream is seen as attractive by investors, especially when there's growing unease about global growth.

Spark New Zealand was the most traded stock on a volume of 10.2 million, more than twice its 4.8 million three-month average. The stock fell 0.7 percent to $3.715.

Air New Zealand fell 0.8 percent to $2.48 on a larger volume than usual of 3.7 million shares. Z Energy dropped 1.3 percent to $6.12 with 2.7 million shares changing hands.

Of other companies trading on volumes of more than a million shares, Precinct Properties New Zealand was unchanged at $1.545, Contact Energy slipped 0.2 percent to $6.47, Summerset Group rose 1.8 percent to $6.70, Auckland International Airport increased 0.1 percent to $7.72, Ryman Healthcare advanced 0.4 percent to $11.33, Genesis Energy edged up 0.2 percent to $2.855, and Meridian Energy rose 1.2 percent to $3.85.

Mercury NZ slipped 0.4 percent, or 1.5 cents, to $3.685 after shedding rights to a 6.2 cent dividend.

Trade Me Group was unchanged at $6.40 on a volume of 1.1 million. The online marketplace released its notice of meeting for the April 3 vote on whether to accept a $6.45 per share offer from UK private equity firm Apax Partners. The offer is higher than independent adviser Grant Samuel's valuation range.

Restaurant Brands New Zealand rose 2.3 percent to $9 on skinny volumes of 34,000. Mexican suitor Finaccess Capital yesterday declared its partial takeover at $9.45 a share unconditional and has another nine working days before the offer closes. It's received 73 percent acceptances and will scale down anything above 75 percent.

Outside the benchmark index, Methven was unchanged at $1.63. Shareholders yesterday agreed to a $1.60 a share takeover by Australia's GWA Group, which also has scope for an interim dividend. Methven's board are expected to declare a 4.69 cents per share payment now shareholders supported the deal.

Solly said the takeover activity will be supporting the local market to a degree, as investors find another home for their funds once they accept the offer or exit a stock.

Pushpay Holdings posted the biggest gain on the NZX50 today, up 3.1 percent at $3.33 on a slightly smaller volume than usual of 377,000, while Vista Group International rose 2.7 percent to $4.88 on a volume of 254,000.

Tags: Market Close

« Defensive stocks remain attractive in an uncertain global environmentBig day of trading as investors reposition portfolios »

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Lender Flt 1yr 2yr 3yr
ANZ 5.19 4.05 3.95 4.49
ANZ Special - 3.55 3.45 3.99
ASB Bank 5.20 4.05 3.95 4.39
ASB Bank Special - 3.55 3.45 3.89
BNZ - Classic - 3.55 3.45 3.99
BNZ - Mortgage One 5.90 - - -
BNZ - Rapid Repay 5.35 - - -
BNZ - Std, FlyBuys 5.30 4.45 4.35 4.55
BNZ - TotalMoney 5.30 - - -
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China Construction Bank Special - 3.19 3.19 3.19
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Credit Union Auckland 5.95 - - -
Credit Union Baywide 6.15 4.95 4.95 -
Credit Union North 6.45 - - -
Credit Union South 6.45 - - -
Finance Direct - - - -
First Credit Union 5.85 3.99 4.49 -
Heartland 6.70 7.00 7.25 7.85
Heartland Bank - Online - - - -
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HSBC Premier 5.24 3.35 3.35 3.35
HSBC Premier LVR > 80% - - - -
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HSBC Special - - - -
ICBC 5.15 3.18 3.18 3.20
Kainga Ora 5.18 4.04 3.95 4.39
Kiwibank 5.80 4.30 4.20 4.64
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Kiwibank - Offset 5.15 - - -
Kiwibank Special - 3.55 3.45 3.89
Liberty 5.69 - - -
Napier Building Society - - - -
Nelson Building Society 5.70 4.25 4.15 -
Pepper Money Near Prime 5.64 - 5.44 5.44
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Pepper Money Prime 5.18 - 4.98 4.98
Pepper Money Specialist 7.59 - 7.39 7.39
Resimac 4.50 4.86 3.89 3.94
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TSB Special 5.29 3.55 3.45 3.89
Wairarapa Building Society 5.70 4.85 4.99 -
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Median 5.34 4.04 4.09 4.39

Last updated: 11 November 2019 4:01pm

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