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The Markets

NZ shares rise in late rally as blue chips gain

New Zealand shares rose as a strong rally in Australia helped overcome the subdued tone set over the weekend, and as investors were heartened by news that no new local covid-19 infections had been reported in the past 24 hours.

Monday, May 4th 2020, 6:35PM

by BusinessDesk

The S&P/NZX 50 Index increased 26.97 points, or 0.3 percent, to 10,475.98. Within the index, 16 stocks rose, 31 fell, and three were unchanged. Turnover was $123.7 million.

A gloomy lead from Wall Street on Friday prompted the local market to fall as much as 1.5 percent in morning trading, with investors fretting over the prospect of the US and China resuming their trade war.

That sombre tone hung over most of Asia, with most major markets down in afternoon trading. Australia was one of the few to buck the trend, with the S&P/ASX 200 Index up 1.5 percent in afternoon trading.

The local market started its rally following the announcement there were no new covid-19 cases today. That's the first day without new infections since lockdown began more than a month ago.

“This morning we would’ve been trading on the Friday night trading from the US which was quite negative, but the Aussie market is bucking that trend today,” said Grant Davies, an investment adviser at Hamilton Hindin Greene.

Australian fintech Afterpay was leading the Australian market higher in late trading, up 24.3 percent at A$36.255 after it said Chinese gaming and social media giant Tencent had built up a 5 percent stake.

Pushpay Holdings, the mobile payments app developer, rose 2.4 percent to $4.30.

A2 Milk Co led the local market higher, up 4 percent at $19.97. Davies said positive trading of the stock on the Australian market had spilled over and helped to prop up the local benchmark.

“A2 is doing a lot of the heavy lifting in the market today,” he said. “It seems to follow the trend and then some at the moment.”

Fonterra Shareholders' Fund units increased 0.5 percent to $3.70, while Synlait Milk slipped 0.4 percent to $6.83.

Blue chip companies underpinned the day's gain. Mercury NZ rose 1.8 percent to $4.50, Goodman Property Trust was up 1.8 percent at $2.26, Spark New Zealand increased 1.6 percent to $4.42, Ryman Healthcare was up 1.6 percent at $12.12, and Meridian Energy advanced 1.2 percent to $4.39.

Westpac Banking Corp increased 0.7 percent to $16.88 after the dual-listed Australian lender reported a 62 percent drop in first half net profit to A$1.19 billion, meeting expectations. It had already signalled the result would include A$2.24 billion in charges against profit relating to expected covid-19-related losses.

Davies said investors had already been expecting a negative update from the bank.

“Westpac had already announced their impairment charge, so the bad news was already out there and maybe investors are taking some positives out of today’s update.”

Australia & New Zealand Banking Group fell 0.2 percent to $17.10.

The majority of stocks in the benchmark index were weaker today, led by firms with the most immediate exposure to an economic downturn.

SkyCity Entertainment Group posted the day's biggest decline, down 3.9 percent at $2.45. Kathmandu Holdings declined 3.9 percent to 75 cents and Oceania Healthcare fell 2.7 percent to 73 cents. Air New Zealand decreased 1.2 percent to $1.27.

Courier company Freightways declined 1.5 percent to $6.60 and global logistics group Mainfreight fell 0.5 percent to $36.31.

Outside the benchmark index, NZME dropped 2.3 percent to 21 cents.

QEX Logistics dropped 19.1 percent to 68 cents after saying it plans to raise up to $4 million at 60 cents a share to help fund its growth plans, such as beefing up its Australian operations.

Cannasouth rose 8.7 percent to 50 cents after raising more money to fund its growth plans than it initially sought.

Tags: Market Close

« Investor fatigue sets in after April rallyInvestors find hope in a trans-Tasman bubble »

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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
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ASB Bank 4.45 3.19 3.19 3.49
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Last updated: 3 July 2020 8:15am

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