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NZ shares sink after RBNZ keeps OCR at 1%

New Zealand shares fell after the Reserve Bank surprised investors by keeping the official cash rate at 1 percent, meaning stocks held for reliable dividends didn't become even more attractive from ever-lower interest rates.

Wednesday, November 13th 2019, 5:54PM

by BusinessDesk

The S&P/NZX50 Index decreased by 90.88 points, or 0.8 percent, to 10,835.43. Within the index, 34 stocks fell, 12 rose, and four were unchanged. Turnover was $175.9 million.

The RBNZ kept the OCR unchanged saying economic changes since its last review in August "do not warrant a change to the already stimulatory monetary setting at this time." Investors were expecting a cut, which would have made stocks held for their yield more attractive.

See reaction to OCR announcement

“The market was 50-50 on whether it would cut - by holding rates we’ve seen swap rates tick up and the dividend-paying stocks in the market have drifted a bit on the basis that yields aren’t quite as attractive as they may have been had the rate had been cut,” says Hamilton Hindin Greene investment adviser Grant Davies.

Wholesale interest rate markets rose with the bid price on two-year swaps jumping up 21 basis points in the immediate aftermath. ANZ economists said they expected the New Zealand dollar to remain buoyed by the decision and for yields on swap rates to rise further in the meantime.

“Power companies and all the classic dividend stocks are all weakening with interest rates being slightly higher than anticipated,” Davies added.

Meridian Energy led the index lower, falling 4 percent to $4.53 on a volume of 1.3 million shares. Conversely, Mercury NZ gained 1 percent to $5.03, and was the second most traded stock of the day with 3.3 million shares changing hands, while Genesis Energy fell by 0.9 percent to $3.22, as almost 290,000 shares traded hands.

Shares of Contact Energy fell by 2.8 percent to $6.95 on a volume of 2.6 million shares. The company held its annual meeting today where chairman Rob McDonald told investors finding a way to keep the Tiwai Point aluminium smelter open was the best result for climate change.

Infratil fell by 3.5 percent to $4.73 on a volume of 1.5 million shares after the company reported a 1.7 percent lift in first-half operating earnings. The utilities owner said a two-month contribution from Vodafone New Zealand had offset weaker returns from Trustpower and its Longroad Energy interests in the US.

“It was broadly in line but I guess there was no reason to go out and buy it. They are being hit with their interest in Trustpower and exposure more broadly as they are a good dividend payer historically,” Davies said. 

Mainfreight rose by 1. percent to $40.50 on a volume of about 150,000 shares, after the logistics firm said its New Zealand operations will perk up as a growing pipeline of freight movements drive more business. Net profit rose to $59.1 million in the six months ended Sept. 30 from $55.7 million a year earlier, although new accounting standards dragged the bottom line down. Davies described the first half result as “solid.”

“There was a bit of change in the accounting standards which muddies the waters slightly but I guess investors are giving them support for their performance over the last 20 years.”

Kiwi Property Group was the volume leader today with 3.9 million shares changing hands. The mall developer is in the midst of a capital raise. Its share price fell by 1.6 percent to $1.54. A dozen other companies traded more than a million shares today, the second most traded being Mercury, followed by Fletcher Building which fell 0.2 percent to $5.17 with 3.2 million shares trading hands. 

Shares of A2 Milk declined by 0.2 percent to $12.60 with 660,000 shares trading hands after it announced the resignation of its global chief marketing officer Susan Massasso. A search for her replacement is underway.

Supermarket property owner Investore Property declined by 1.1 percent to $1.85. Today it said first-half profit had risen by 10 percent. The company said unrealised gains in the value of its "big box" retail properties were partly offset by performance fees paid to manager Stride Property. Stride fell 2.7 percent to $2.18.

Tags: Market Close

« Gentailers dominate trade; Mercury wind farm has investors revisiting smelter fearsNZ shares recover as investors re-think RBNZ review »

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Lender Flt 1yr 2yr 3yr
AIA 4.55 3.19 3.19 3.49
AIA Special - 2.69 2.69 2.99
ANZ 4.44 3.15 3.25 3.85
ANZ Special - 2.65 2.75 3.35
ASB Bank 4.45 3.19 3.19 3.49
ASB Bank Special - 2.69 2.69 2.99
Bluestone 4.44 4.44 4.44 4.44
BNZ - Classic - 2.65 2.69 2.99
BNZ - Mortgage One 5.15 - - -
BNZ - Rapid Repay 4.60 - - -
BNZ - Std, FlyBuys 4.55 3.25 3.29 3.59
Lender Flt 1yr 2yr 3yr
BNZ - TotalMoney 4.55 - - -
China Construction Bank 4.49 4.70 4.80 4.95
China Construction Bank Special - 2.65 2.65 2.80
Credit Union Auckland 5.45 - - -
Credit Union Baywide 5.65 4.75 4.75 -
Credit Union South 5.65 4.75 4.75 -
First Credit Union Special 5.85 3.35 3.85 -
Heartland 3.95 2.89 2.97 3.39
Heartland Bank - Online - - - -
Heretaunga Building Society 4.99 4.35 4.45 -
HSBC Premier 4.49 2.60 2.65 2.80
Lender Flt 1yr 2yr 3yr
HSBC Premier LVR > 80% - - - -
HSBC Special - - - -
ICBC 3.99 2.58 2.68 2.79
Kainga Ora 4.43 3.29 3.39 3.85
Kiwibank 3.40 3.40 3.54 4.00
Kiwibank - Capped - - - -
Kiwibank - Offset - - - -
Kiwibank Special 3.40 2.65 2.79 3.25
Liberty 5.69 - - -
Nelson Building Society 4.95 3.45 3.49 -
Pepper Essential 4.79 - - -
Lender Flt 1yr 2yr 3yr
Resimac 3.49 3.45 3.39 3.69
SBS Bank 4.54 3.29 ▼3.19 ▼3.49
SBS Bank Special - 2.79 ▼2.69 ▼2.99
The Co-operative Bank - Owner Occ 4.40 2.79 2.79 3.39
The Co-operative Bank - Standard 4.40 3.29 3.29 3.89
TSB Bank 5.34 3.59 3.49 3.79
TSB Special 4.54 ▼2.65 2.69 2.99
Wairarapa Building Society 4.99 3.75 3.99 -
Westpac 4.59 4.15 4.09 4.49
Westpac - Offset 4.59 - - -
Westpac Special - ▼2.65 2.69 2.79
Median 4.55 3.22 3.22 3.44

Last updated: 3 July 2020 8:15am

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