NZ shares follow soft Wall St lead

New Zealand shares took their cue from a soft lead on Wall Street as investors started the week on a cautious note.

Monday, January 13th 2020, 7:02PM

by BusinessDesk

The S&P/NZX 50 Index decreased 8.03 points, or 0.1 percent, to 11,543.67. Within the index, 21 stocks fell, 23 rose, and six were unchanged. Turnover was $108.1 million, with Metlifecare accounting for $44.4 million of that.

Stocks across Asia were mixed as some investors were optimistic and started the week on a positive note, with the US and China set to sign their preliminary trade agreement on Wednesday, while others followed the soft US employment data on Friday, which weighed on US equity markets.

Peter McIntyre, an investment adviser at Craigs Investment Partners, said the strong rally last year and lack of alternative investments meant investors would be willing to accept the dividend yield available on the local stock market, even if it can't repeat the 2019 performance.

“There’s no clear reason to jump out and switch into cash,” McIntyre said.

Tuesday morning's New Zealand Institute of Economic Research’s quarterly survey of business opinion will give investors a steer on how confident firms are in both the local economy and their own activity.

Tourism Holdings led the market lower, down 3 percent at $3.25 with 145,000 shares changing hands, more than its 90-day average of 123,000. NZX was down 2.2 percent at $1.39, falling from a six-and-a-half year high.

Goodman Property Trust was down 2 percent at $2.22 and Z Energy declined 1.9 percent to $4.60.

Sky Network Television posted the day’s biggest gain, up 2.8 percent at 73 cents on a volume of 210,000 shares, well short of its 979,000 daily average turnover. Fletcher Building rose 2.4 percent to $5.22 and Vector was up 1.6 percent at $3.75.

Refining NZ decreased 0.6 percent to $1.80. The operator of the Marsden Point refinery appointed Santos executive Naomi James as its new chief executive, from April.

McIntyre said the board’s statement that her prior experience in change management was notable, given the central government drive to make better use of Northport and the company’s own transition to supporting a low carbon economy.

A2 Milk fell 1 percent to $14.75. The milk marketing firm today announced another change in its senior leadership team, with the departure of chief technical officer Phil Rybinski.

Metlifecare was the most traded stock on a volume of 6.5 million shares, well up on its 453,000 average. The retirement village operator is under a takeover offer at $7 per share. Its stock was unchanged at $6.87.

Kiwi Property Group was unchanged at $1.54 on a volume of 1.9 million shares and Auckland International Airport decreased 0.6 percent to $8.85, with 1.1 million shares traded.

Three listed bonds traded on volumes of more than a million notes. ASB Bank’s 2021 bonds, paying annual interest of 4.245 percent, closed at a yield of 1.59 percent, down 5 basis points. The Local Government Funding Agency’s 2020 bond, paying 3 percent, closed at a yield of 1.3 percent, up 5 basis points. And ANZ Bank New Zealand’s 2020 bond, paying 4.03 percent, closed at a yield of 1.46 percent, down 3 basis points.

Outside the NZX50, Eroad increased 0.3 percent to $3.20. The telematics company today appointed North American Barry Einsig as a new independent director.

IkeGPS fell 3.4 percent to 85 cents. The company today appointed former Microsoft Research manager Norwood Keel as senior vice president of product.

Tags: Market Close

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