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Equities markets rallied despite US election uncertainty

New Zealand’s main share index gained almost half a percent and the kiwi dollar lifted almost 1 US cent, as investors found enough political certainty in the US Senate result to look past the still undecided presidential race.

Thursday, November 5th 2020, 6:03PM

by BusinessDesk

The S&P/NZX 50 Index rose 50.1 points, or 0.4 percent, to 12,249.98. Within the index, 24 stocks rose, 20 fell and six were unchanged. Turnover was $250.1 million.

Equities markets rallied despite election uncertainty still lingering around the presidency, in part due to Republicans holding onto control of the Senate which makes significant legislative change unlikely.

At the time of writing, the Democrat presidential candidate looks likely to win the presidency. The Associated Press has Joe Biden just six electoral votes short of winning with five states yet to be called; he only needs to win one.

The kiwi dollar rallied from an overnight low of 66.17 US cents as the dust settled around the election and was trading at 67.01 cents at 5pm in Wellington.

“At this stage Biden looks like winning and the market is in love with the fact that the Republicans are gonna own the Senate and so nothing can be done,” said Peter McIntyre, an investment adviser at Craigs Investment Partners. 

“Markets sometimes like deadlock, not everyone likes change and at this stage it doesn’t look like change is possible.”

Tourism Holdings led the local share market higher, rising 5 percent to $2.30 on light volume, but Fisher & Paykel Healthcare did the heavy lifting, bolstering the index with a 2.5 percent gain at $36.90.

The stock has been extremely volatile over the past 30 days with it gradually trending upwards from a mid-September dip.

“The US election was driving volatility in Healthcare, it is a big stock on our exchange and there was profit taken from it running into election time as it is a liquid stock that has performed well,” McIntyre said.

Synlait Milk rose 1.2 percent to $5.11 on the news it had closed a deal with an unnamed multinational customer. There was no dollar-figure announced, but McIntyre said as the milk processor was willing to spend $70 million customising its facilities the deal must be significant.

Trustpower rose 0.4 percent to $7.08 after the company trimmed its full-year earnings forecast by as much as $10 million, but the result was in-line with market expectations.

Pushpay Holdings fell a further 3.1 percent to $8.14 as investors continued to show concern about the slow pickup of new customers in the company’s interim result.

Fishing firm Sanford fell 7.8 percent, the day’s biggest fall, after a trading update said revenue was down 14 percent and profit dropped 46 percent. Social distancing and a weaker toothfish catch had weighed on performance.

McIntyre said Patagonia toothfish fetched a high margin for Sanford, so the poor catch in the fourth quarter was dragging profit.

In currency, the trade-weighted index was at 71.67 at 5pm in Wellington, from 71.64 yesterday. The kiwi traded at 93.38 Australian cents from 93.64 cents, 69.87 yen from 69.92 yen, 57.09 euro cents from 57.15 cents, 51.71 British pence from 51.20 pence, and 4.4558 Chinese yuan from 4.4729 yuan.

Tags: Market Close

« Kiwi falls as US blue wave faltersSynlait leads post election rally »

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Last updated: 23 November 2020 12:23pm

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