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Last Article Uploaded: Tuesday, August 11th, 6:06PM

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Volatile day on the market; Shares started up but ended down

New Zealand shares snapped a three-day rally in volatile trading, as investors continue to assess the fallout from the level 4 shutdown and as higher bond yields reduce the attraction of companies that typically pay a reliable dividend in ordinary times.

Friday, March 27th 2020, 6:38PM

by BusinessDesk

The S&P/NZX50 fell 75.74 points, or 0.8 percent, to 9,556.73. Within the index, 20 stocks fell, 20 rose and four were unchanged. Turnover was $252.4 million.

While the local market opened stronger following a lively lead from Wall Street overnight, the trend turned downward throughout the day as further effects of the national shutdown became apparent.

“This is a remarkable event for many companies, so the market is trying to feel out how much of this is temporary and how much is permanent,” said Matthew Goodson, managing director at Salt Funds Management.

Goodson said the volatility in markets was unprecedented, with Wall Street's S&P 500 falling 20 percent in just 19 days. The S&P 500 extended its recent gain last night, when it closed up 6.2 percent on the United States senate’s approval of a US$2 trillion fiscal stimulus package.

“This was the quickest fall into a bear market ever, but it only spent 11 days there before a 20 percent gain in three days got us back out of it,” Goodson said.

The NZX50 has itself climbed 12.4 percent since Monday, when its recently slide stalled.

Utilities were weaker as higher bond yields reduced the attraction of companies that pay reliable dividends. The yield on the 10-year government bond has climbed to 1.12 percent from 0.983 percent at the close of trading on Monday.

“Bond yields are quite important given these are high yielding companies,” Goodson said.

Telco-infrastructure provider Chorus led the market lower, falling 5.4 percent to $6.55. It today affirmed its annual earnings guidance, and said it will put off $50 million of capital spending due to the lockdown.

Lines company Vector fell 5.2 percent to $3.31, and Auckland International Airport declined 4.6 percent to $5.535.

Meridian Energy fell 3.4 percent to $3.99, Contact Energy declined 1.8 percent to $5.47, and Mercury New Zealand decreased 1.9 percent to $4.25.

Fuel-retailer Z Energy fell 4.8 percent to $2.75.

Property stocks were also under pressure after reports that large firms were putting landlords under pressure by refusing to pay rent through the lockdown.

Goodson said this was a concern to investors who had backed off some property stocks today, despite driving strong price growth during the week’s rally.

Goodman Property Trust fell 2.3 percent to $2.14 and Argosy Property declined 1.2 percent to 85 cents.

Not all property stocks were weaker. Kiwi Property Group rose 3.5 percent to 90 cents and Investore Property — which said it will only lose 0.5 percent of revenue from lost rent — climbed 9.3 percent to $1.64. Its manager Stride Property advanced 3 percent to $1.39.

Kathmandu Holdings held at 86 cents after the company announced a significant number of its stores around the world would be temporarily closed due to shutdowns and it was undertaking “aggressive cost saving initiatives” including negotiating rent payments.

"Such a sudden stop to the revenue lines of many businesses has left customers whose balance sheets formerly looked okay, all of a sudden not looking so okay,” Goodson said.

“That will be a key thing to keep an eye on in the market for the next couple of weeks.”

Many stocks continued to rally from record lows despite the index being down on the day.

Tourism Holdings posted the day's biggest gain, up 10.1 percent at $1.20. Sky Network Television climbed 9.1 percent to 30 cents, Air New Zealand increased 1.1 percent to 90 cents, and Vista Group International advanced 4.8 percent to $1.30.

“The market, in some cases, was quite oversold. So the speed of the decline and the nature of the decline surprised a lot of market participants,” Goodson said. 

Synlait Milk rose 4.6 percent to $5.52 and Fonterra Shareholders' Fund units increased 2.1 percent to $3.88. A2 Milk fell 1.6 percent to $16.46.

Tags: Market Close

« NZ shares rally on US stimulus; beat-up stocks recoverExporters F&P Healthcare, A2 enjoy weak kiwi; NZX rises »

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Last updated: 11 August 2020 8:24am

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