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Travel stocks lead stock market higher

Travel stocks led the New Zealand share market higher as Air New Zealand continued to rally on Australia's borders opening and Serko's oversubscribed capital raising interested investors.

Tuesday, October 6th 2020, 6:00PM

by BusinessDesk

The S&P/NZX 50 Index rose 76.75 points, or 0.7 percent, to 11,975.02. Within the index, 35 stocks rose, 12 fell and three were unchanged. Turnover was $146.1 million.

Air New Zealand led the market higher, rising 3.7 percent to $1.56. The national carrier has gained more than 10 percent since a one-way safe travel corridor from NZ into Australia was announced on Friday.

Grant Davies, an investment adviser at Hamilton Hindin Greene, said positive sentiment from travel management software company Serko’s successful capital raising was spilling over to the airline.

In late September, Air NZ said it will raise capital before June, having already started drawing down on its $900 million loan facility with the government. Today, it's chief financial officer Jeff McDowall said he will leave the airline once it's finished its capital raising.

"It’s a good sign from the airline’s perspective, with all the talk of the capital raising, that people are happy to be buying on the market,” Davies said.

“Serko having just completed one with an oversubscription, with things apparently on the up and up for them.”

Serko rose 3 percent to $4.81 today and has gained more than 7 percent since it raised capital at a premium to the market price, also on Friday when the trans-Tasman path was opened.

Australia’s Reserve Bank today held the target cash rate at 0.25 percent as it chose to hold out to see how fiscal stimulus, to be announced later tonight in the federal budget, affects the economy.    

The kiwi dollar fell from 92.43 Australian cents to 92.33 immediately following the announcement, but quickly recovered and was trading at 92.46 cents at 5pm in Wellington, down from 92.52 cents yesterday.

The trade-weighted index was at 71.51 at 5pm, from 71.60 yesterday. The kiwi traded at 66.47 US cents up from 66.42 cents, 70.20 yen from 70.09 yen, 56.37 euro cents from 56.62 cents, 51.17 British pence from 51.33 pence, and 4.5132 Chinese yuan from 4.5098 yuan.

Construction firm Fletcher Building rose 2.9 percent to $4.27 supported by a buoyant housing market in NZ and hefty government infrastructure spending plans both locally and in Australia

“You’ve got big spending governments making big promises that Fletcher is going to be involved with on both sides of the Tasman, probably investors are banking on Fletcher winning a few of those contracts,” Davies said.

Heartland Group Holdings, which has lending operations in Australia, rose 2.2 percent to $1.37.

Other stocks with trans-Tasman exposure also rose: Ebos Group climbed 1.4 percent to $24.33 and Kathmandu Holdings gained 0.8 percent at $1.28.

The NZX’s two biggest companies were mixed, with A2 Milk Company rising 0.3 percent to $15.48 and Fisher & Paykel Healthcare falling 0.4 percent to $33.77.

Vista Group International posted the day’s biggest loss falling 3.8 percent to $1.54, after Cineworld confirmed it would close hundreds of movie theatres in the United Kingdom and the United States as studios were delaying blockbuster releases until the pandemic was brought to heel.

Tags: Market Close

« NZ shares rise with Aussie marketKiwi falls as Trump spikes stimulus deal »

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Last updated: 23 October 2020 5:00am

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