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The Markets

Markets unrattled by election, electricity sector falls

New Zealand markets were steady with investors relaxed after the Labour Party secured a historic majority in Saturday’s general election. The electricity sector led a modest decline in the share market.

Monday, October 19th 2020, 6:14PM

by BusinessDesk

 

The S&P/NZX 50 Index eased 47.9 points, or 0.4 percent, to 12,385.25. Turnover was $137.3 million.

Share prices and the kiwi dollar were little changed after Labour won an unprecedented 49 percent of the vote, or 64 of the 120 seats in parliament.

Market reaction was muted as the result was broadly in line with public opinion polls. 

“It wasn’t expected to be such an emphatic victory, but a Labour-led government was well and truly expected,” said Mark Lister, head of private wealth research at Craigs Investment Partners.

Financial markets and the business sector have become comfortable with prime minister Jacinda Ardern and finance minister Grant Robertson’s pragmatic and conservative approach.

“A lot of the votes they have picked up are from people that aren’t looking for dramatic change, so I think the market is relaxed that it is a business-as-usual result,” Lister said.

The benchmark equity index edged lower despite the relaxed mood, led by a decline in the electricity sector.

Meridian Energy fell 3.5 percent to $5.45, Contact Energy dropped 2.3 percent to $7.56. Genesis Energy slipped 2.2 percent to $3.12 and Mercury NZ was down 1.9 percent to $5.30.

The sector has been posting strong gains since late September, when the Labour Party said it will offer NZ Aluminium Smelters a lower transmission price to keep it running for several more years, but investors began taking some profits on Friday.

Forsyth Barr also backed off its prediction Contact Energy would be added to the MSCI NZ Index, now saying it was unlikely to clear the $8.60 hurdle in the next 10 days, adding further pressure to the sector.  

Ebos Group fell 1.5 percent to $26.41 after being one of last week’s top performers, gaining 8.2 percent.

Travel stocks saw mixed results. Serko­­­, which gained 8.6 percent last week, fell 3.3 percent to $5.03 and Tourism Holdings declined 0.4 percent to $2.34, while Air New Zealand rose 0.3 percent to $1.505 and Auckland International Airport rose 1 percent to $7.27.

Infratil, which owns a stake in Wellington airport as part of its portfolio, rose 0.2 percent to $5.32.

Mainfreight continued its charge, adding 1.5 percent at $54.70 to bring its total gain this month to almost 19 percent.

The kiwi dollar eased from a post-election bump this morning and was trading 66.13 US cents at 5pm in Wellington, up from 65.92 cents on Friday.

The kiwi also gained against most other currencies, the trade weighted index was at 71.41 from 71.23 and the NZ dollar traded at 93.30 Australian cents from 93.13 cents on 5pm Friday, 69.72 yen from 69.38 yen, 56.48 euro cents from 56.32 cents, 51.14 British pence from 51.12 pence, and 4.4270 Chinese yuan from 4.4311 yuan.

Tags: Market Close

« Power rally pauses ahead of electionKiwi dollar hits three month high against Aussie »

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