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Shares rise in quiet trading

New Zealand shares edged higher in quiet trading as many investors stuck to the sidelines with US markets closed for the upcoming Labor Day holiday. Sky Network Television led the market.

Monday, September 7th 2020, 7:31PM

by BusinessDesk

 

The S&P/NZX 50 Index rose 35.14 points, or 0.3 percent, to 11,859.45. Within the index, 23 stocks rose, 20 fell and seven were unchanged. Turnover was $114 million.

A thin majority of stocks on the benchmark index posted gains as some investors took the opportunity to buy after a sell down on Friday. The NZX 50 declined 2.2 percent across last week, following a similar drop in global equity markets.

“After such a strong run it is no great surprise that markets are taking a breather, particularly for some parts of the market that have been very strong of late,” said Mark Lister, head of private wealth research at Craigs Investment Partners.

Peter McIntyre, an investment adviser at Craigs, said trading was subdued because the United States futures market was closed for Labor Day, leaving investors without a guide as to what will happen when Wall Street reopens.

“The market is waiting for the open of the US market to see what happens to the sell off we saw in the tech sector last week,” McIntyre said.

Sky Network Television led the local market higher, rising 5.8 percent to 14.7 cents as it builds momentum into its earnings report on Thursday. The pay-TV company was the busiest stock on the market today, with more than 9 million shares traded.

The sale of MediaWorks' free-to-air television division to the Discovery Channel announced today may have brought extra attention to the stock.   

McIntyre said having someone willing to buy the Three network showed there was interest in the sector and could be interpreted as a positive for Sky TV.

“The key for Sky is simply whether it can ride out this rough time,” he said.

Other entertainment  stocks extended gains made last week as more of the global economy reopened: Vista Group International rose 3.9 percent to $1.89 and SkyCity Entertainment Group advanced 3.6 percent to $2.85.

Heartland Group Holdings rose 2.6 percent to $1.19 with 3.3 million shares traded, while the dual-traded Australian banks rose 1.5 percent each, with Australia & New Zealand Banking Grou pat $19.64 and Westpac Banking Group at $18.86. The S&P/ASX 200 was flat in late trading.

Retirement village operator Summerset Group launched a $150 million seven-year bond sale to diversify and lengthen the term of its debt, and to help fund future development. Its share price rose just under 1 percent to $8.60 and was the only retirement stock to gain on the day.

“There is an old saying: if a company does a debt issue buy the equity,” McIntyre said.

Restaurant Brands posted the day's biggest fall, dropping 2 percent to $12.06 ahead of its half-year earnings report tomorrow morning.

New Zealand Refining Company fell 1.5 percent to 67 cents after S&P Dow Jones Indices announced last week the oil refinery would be relegated out of the NZX 50 on Sept. 21.

Taking its place is travel booking software developer Serko, which rallied 8.4 percent to $4.26.

In currency markets, the kiwi recovered from its Friday weakness when the greenback was buoyed by better-than-expected US jobs numbers suggesting a continued recovery in the US economy.

The kiiw traded at 67.03 US cents at 5pm in Wellington, almost unchanged from 67.04 cents on Friday.

The trade-weighted index was at 72.07 at 5pm from 72.13 on Friday. The kiwi traded at 92.02 Australian cents from 92.16 cents, 71.22 yen from 71.15 yen, 56.65 euro cents from 56.56 cents, 50.67 British pence from 50.47 pence, and 4.5780 Chinese yuan from 4.5865 yuan.

Tags: Market Close

« Sharpest drop on NZX in monthsSky TV leads gains for second day »

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Last updated: 21 September 2020 10:48am

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