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NZ shares and dollar rise as optimism lingers

New Zealand shares and the kiwi dollar both gained as investors remained positive that a covid-19 vaccine could soon be available.

Monday, November 16th 2020, 6:29PM

by BusinessDesk

The S&P/NZX 50 Index rose 44.75 points, or 0.4 percent, to 12,744.92. Within the index, 26 stocks fell, 15 rose and nine were unchanged. Turnover was $156.2 million.

On Friday, both US covid-19 cases and the S&P 500 hit new records, investors seem less concerned with the rising case numbers now a promising vaccine has emerged.

The kiwi dollar climbed to 68.77 US cents at 5pm in Wellington, up from 68.18 cents on Friday, as the risk-on attitude supported the currency.

“We had some positive sentiment from US markets overnight and Asia is broadly higher,” said Jeremy Sullivan, an investment adviser at Hamilton Hindin Green.

Travel stocks most hit by the pandemic led the local share market higher, on the hope the vaccine may provide a path to normalcy for those companies.

Tourism Holdings and Air NZ both rose 3.1 percent to $2.63 and $1.64, respectively. This climb puts Air New Zealand above Forsyth Barr’s target price of $1.60, even after it upgraded the stock last week.

Air NZ operated almost 90 percent of its pre-covid domestic capacity during the October school holiday period, while Auckland International Airport’s domestic passenger numbers were down 68.6 percent from last year.

The airport declined 1.2 percent to $7.64 and corporate travel software provider Serko fell 1.8 percent to $5.50.

Fisher & Paykel Healthcare won back some ground it lost after the Pifzer’s vaccine was announced. Today, it was up 2.3 percent at $34.60, although down from $37 earlier in the month.

Dual-listed Australia and New Zealand Banking Group rose 2.8 percent to $22.40 but volume was very light. The ASX only traded for 20 minutes this morning before the system froze.

The stock exchange operator said this afternoon the cause of the issue had been identified and that trading would resume at 10am tomorrow.

“That’s a first in the eight years I’ve been looking at the Aussie market,” Sullivan said.

Shares in NZX were flat today at $1.80, although its executives may be quietly pleased to not be the only stock exchange to experience technical difficulties this year. 

SkyCity Entertainment Group had the day’s biggest loss, falling 3.5 percent to $3.04 after it announced the sudden departure of three of its top executives.

The casino operator’s chief executive Graeme Stephens, chief financial officer Rob Hamilton, and chief marketing officer Liza McNally will all leave the group before March.

SkyCity also provided a trading update showing NZ domestic revenue in the four months ended Oct. 31 is at 88 percent of the same four months as last year with improved operating margins.

“I’d say the stock’s performance today is to do with the departure of those senior executives, while they may have genuine reasons for leaving, having them all go at once is not a very strong sign,” said Sullivan.

Over the weekend the government signed the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, a 15-country Asia-Pacific trade agreement covering 30 percent of global trade and seven of NZ’s 10 biggest trading partners.

While signing the piece of paper is not something that will move the market, the deal is expected to add around $2 billion to NZ’s economy over the next two decades. 

The kiwi dollar’s trade-weighted index was at 72.84 at 5pm, up from 72.58 on Friday, as the currency traded at 94.35 Australian cents from 94.38 cents, 71.88 yen from 71.56 yen, 58.02 euro cents from 57.77 cents, 51.98 British pence from 51.99 pence, and 4.5251 Chinese yuan from 4.5180 yuan.

Tags: Market Close

« F&P Healthcare drives gain as investors hedged on pandemicSecond vaccine sees investors eye recovery »

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HSBC Premier LVR > 80% - - - -
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HSBC Special - - - -
ICBC 3.69 2.45 2.45 2.65
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Kiwibank - Offset 3.40 - - -
Kiwibank Special 3.40 2.55 2.65 2.65
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