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NZ shares join global rally as upcoming US-China trade buoys investors

New Zealand shares joined a global rally as the upcoming preliminary trade deal between the US and China underpinned optimism about global growth, and revived confidence in tech stocks such as Gentrack.

Tuesday, January 14th 2020, 7:29PM

by BusinessDesk

The S&P/NZX 50 Index advanced 81.46 points, or 0.7 percent, to 11,625.13. Within the index, 28 stocks rose, 15 fell and seven were unchanged. Turnover was $173.7 million.

Stocks across Asia were largely stronger as investors took the US decision to stop calling China a currency manipulator as a major step in de-escalating tensions between the world’s two biggest economies.

Stephen Innes, chief Asia market strategist at AxiTrader, said the strengthening Chinese yuan was the best gauge of the market’s view on US-China trade tensions, and that recent appreciation indicated further improvement.

“With the US reversing its decision to brand China a currency manipulator, it is a most precise and definitive de-escalation of trade tension to date and provides a less congested road as we pivot to phase two of the broader trade agreement,” Innes said in a note.

Tech stocks such as Apple, Microsoft and Netflix supported Wall Street’s gain overnight, and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index was up 0.7 percent in afternoon trading, led higher by growth stocks.

“The local market’s going up with positive leads from Wall Street on the back of more optimism about trade,” said Grant Davies, an investment adviser at Hamilton Hindin Greene.

Utilities software developer Gentrack led the local market higher, up 2.9 percent at $3.94 on a volume of 1.4 million shares, well up on its 90-day average of 162,000 shares. Among other software firms, Pushpay Holdings advanced 1.2 percent to $4.37, Vista Group International rose 0.3 percent to $3.46 on a volume of 1.7 million, Eroad slipped 0.3 percent to $3.19 and Serko was down 1 percent at $5.08.

Breathing mask maker Fisher & Paykel Healthcare, which was the strongest stock on the top 50 index last year, rose 2.2 percent to $21.85.

Spark New Zealand edged up 0.2 percent to $4.55 on a volume of 2.3 million shares and Chorus increased 0.2 percent to $6.44 after the government confirmed the auction parameters for the interim 5G radio spectrum. Infratil, which owns half of Vodafone New Zealand, increased 1.7 percent to $5.36.

Metlifecare was the most traded stock on a volume of 7.2 million shares, almost 14 times its 521,000 average. It rose 0.3 percent to $6.89, nudging closer to the $7 takeover price.

Meridian Energy increased 1.8 percent to $5.15 on a volume of 2.3 million shares.

Of other stocks trading on volumes of more than a million shares, Precinct Properties New Zealand increased 0.98 percent to $1.865, Goodman Property Trust rose 1.8 percent to $2.26 and Fletcher Building was up 1.5 percent at $5.30.

Of listed bonds trading on volumes of more than a million, ANZ Bank New Zealand’s September 2020 notes paying annual interest of 4.03 percent closed at an unchanged yield of 1.46 percent.

Synlait Milk fell 2 percent to $8.72 in the day’s biggest decline, on a volume of 40,000 shares, less than its 101,000 average.

A2 Milk fell 1.4 percent to $14.55 and Z Energy declined 1.7 percent to $4.52.

Air New Zealand increased 0.5 percent to $3.02. Today, chief people officer Jodie King announced her departure to take up a role at Vodafone. She will leave by the end of the financial year in June.

Oceania Healthcare slipped 0.8 percent to $1.30. Its chief financial officer Matthew Ward announced his resignation today and will finish up at the aged care provider at the end of March.

Outside the benchmark index, Truscreen rose 1 percent to 9.7 cents after the cervical cancer test maker said a screening trial in India compared well to a pap test trial and was important in entering the Indian market.

Tags: Market Close

« NZ shares follow soft Wall St leadSharemarket hits record as investors eye US-China trade deal »

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