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NZ shares fall as fears of a second covid wave rise

New Zealand shares fell as investors grow increasingly concerned about a second wave of covid-19 disrupting the global economic recovery.

Monday, June 22nd 2020, 6:24PM

by BusinessDesk

The S&P/NZX 50 Index dropped 96.28 points, or 0.9 percent, to 11,158.46. Within the index, 24 stocks fell, 18 rose, and eight were unchanged. Turnover was $115.8 million.

Investors, once excited by economies reopening, are becoming increasingly nervous about the apparent link between communities reopening and renewed outbreaks. 

While China closes parts of Beijing due to an unexpected flare-up of 200 new cases, other parts of the world continue to ease lockdowns.

Recent data shows rising covid-19 cases in parts of the United States. For the first time since the start of May more than 30,000 new cases have been recorded in a single day in the US.

Experts say increased testing accounts for some, but not all, of the rise.

Markets turned weaker as investors were forced to balance the positive impacts of economies reopening with the increased risk of a virus flare-up that goes with it.

On Wall Street overnight, the S&P 500 fell half a percent and the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 0.8 percent.

The New Zealand market followed that lead. This country's own difficulty keeping incoming covid-19 cases contained at the border also reminded investors a second wave in NZ remains a present, if low, risk.

“Over the last week the news around the risk of a second wave, and what we are seeing locally in terms of re-emergence, has been detrimental,” Sam Trethewey, portfolio manager at Milford Asset Management.

The recent weakness in travel stocks showed that investors were being put off by bad data, are were unlikely to let share prices continue to rise without a material improvement.

“After the strong recovery we have seen in April and May, it is difficult to see any more positive catalysts to push the market further.”

Stocks directly exposed to travel took a tumble: SkyCity Entertainment fell 3.9 percent to $2.74, Auckland International Airport dropped 3.4 percent to $6.58, Air New Zealand fell 2.3 percent to $1.475 and Tourism Holdings declined 1 percent to $1.96.

A2 Milk led the market lower, falling 4.7 percent to $19.38. Australian media today speculated the Kiwi dairy giant was seeking to buy producer Mataura Valley Milk for $400 million. A2 confirmed it was in talks to expand manufacturing capability but didn’t address the Mataura rumour directly.

Trethewey said today’s share price movement was more related to the price settling after Friday's NZX 50 rebalancing and the stock's inclusion in the ASX 50 on Friday night. A2’s share price rose 8 percent last week.

Synlait Milk, which supplies all of A2’s infant formula, fell 4.2 percent to $7.14. Trethewey said A2 adding its own manufacturing capability would increase its negotiating power with Synlait.

Napier Port declined 2.8 percent to $3.79 on its first day of trading as part of the NZX 50, giving up some of the rally it saw in lead-up to its inclusion. The stock rallied 8.6 percent last week.

Port of Tauranga held last week’s 13 percent gain at $8.09 today. 

Kiwi Property fell 0.9 percent to $1.07. Today the company announced it would resume paying dividends later this year as visitors to its shopping portfolio had recovered 1 percent above pre-covid levels.

Pushpay Holdings—which has now doubled in value this year after gaining another 14 percent last week- climbed a further 5.1 percent to $8.66, the day’s biggest gain.

Fisher & Paykel Healthcare rose 2.2 percent to $1.25. Trethewey said the healthcare manufacturer was attracting attention ahead of its annual earnings report next Monday. Investors would be looking closely to see if the sale boost from the pandemic would lead to long-term revenue gains.

Outside of the NZX 50, transport fleet tracking company Eroad fell 1.2 percent to $3.25.

Jarden analysts today raised Eroad’s target share price to $4.39, saying the company was operating in attractive markets and was supported by increased regulation in the transport space.

Tags: Market Close

« NZ shares rise; index moves push Port of Tauranga to recordNZ shares fall as Ebos shareholder sells down; covid jitters remain »

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Last updated: 21 September 2020 10:48am

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