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NZ shares dip as investors await US earnings

New Zealand shares edged lower as investors became wary of a market correction ahead of earnings results from some of the United States’ biggest listed companies.

Tuesday, July 28th 2020, 7:04PM

by BusinessDesk

The S&P/NZX 50 Index decreased 7.35 points, or 0.1 percent, to 11,578.27. Within the index, 17 stocks fell, 28 rose, and five were unchanged. Turnover was $147 million.

The benchmark index was in positive territory for most of the day, rising more than 0.8 percent as it followed stronger US markets overnight, but tapered off into the close when US equities futures turned flat.

Mark Lister, head of private wealth research at Craigs Investment Partners, said the index was “at the mercy of global markets” as NZ markets were in a lull ahead of the local reporting season in August.

Until then, the equity market will be driven by US company earnings, the Federal Reserve's policy review on Thursday morning and any headlines regarding the US-China relationship, he said.

“We’ll go along for the ride until that second week of August when we’ve got some of our own corporate news to latch onto.”

With Apple, Amazon, Visa, Facebook and Alphabet - the parent of Google - all set to report this week, investors were watching closely to see if their high share prices were deserved.  

“Lots of those big technology stocks that have driven the rally are announcing results over the next two or three days,” he said.

“People are a little cautious and the question is: can those results live up to the expectations the share prices have factored in?”

The NZX50’s two software stocks posted the day’s biggest gains: Vista Group International rose 7 percent to $1.37 and Pushpay Holdings rose 3.1 percent to $8.00.

Lister said Pushpay was attracting some bargain hunters as the stock had slipped from its record.

“The stock was well north of $9 for most of June and then there was the sell down from one of the major shareholders,” Lister said.

“People are happy to pick up a few shares cheaper than they have been, because operationally we’ve heard nothing but good news.”

Cinema software company Vista had a similar trajectory, nearing $2 at the start of June before dropping as low as $1.20 in July.

Auckland International Airport posted the day’s biggest decline, falling 1.6 percent to $6.20.

Meanwhile, Air New Zealand rose 0.8 percent to $1.32 and Tourism Holdings rose 1.8 percent to $1.72.

Telecommunications company Spark New Zealand rose 0.5 percent to $4.905, while internet utility firm Chorus dropped 0.5 percent to $7.46.  

Other utilities were also weaker. Genesis Energy fell 1.4 percent to $2.85, Trustpower dropped 1.2 percent to $6.70, Meridian Energy decreased 1.1 percent to $4.70 and Contact Energy declined 1 percent to $5.70.

Vector fell 1 percent to $3.90. The lines company today announced a partnership with cloud-computing specialist Amazon Web Services to develop a new platform to manage consumer data for the energy industry in Australia and New Zealand.

Fisher & Paykel Healthcare, the NZX’s largest company which has driven the local rally, fell 0.7 percent to $34.85. A2 Milk Co rose 0.2 percent to $20.75.

Argosy Property fell 0.4 percent to $1.24. The company today said it expects to match last year's 6.35 cent dividend in the current financial year, on the strength of its resilience through the covid pandemic and despite the challenges of the "economically weak" period.

Outside the benchmark, utility measurement firm ikeGPS said it will raise almost $20 million of new equity after winning one of the largest communications infrastructure companies in the United States as a customer. Its shares were halted at 77 cents.

Tags: Market Close

« Gold pushed to a record, while NZ shares fallProperty stocks give market cheer »

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Last updated: 14 August 2020 1:06pm

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