NZ shares recover early losses

New Zealand shares recovered from a shock open driven by covid and cyber-attacks, finishing the day almost flat after Fisher & Paykel Healthcare and ANZ Bank rallied.

Tuesday, July 20th 2021, 6:23PM

by BusinessDesk

Despite falling almost 1% when the market opened, the S&P/NZX 50 Index closed down just 1.25 points, or 0.1%, at 12,560.84. Turnover was $204 million.

Investors in the United States overnight started the week by ditching risk assets after a weekend of headlines about the spread of the covid-19 delta variant and accusations from Western governments that China had been engaging in cyber-attacks.

Bitcoin dropped below US$30,000 for the first time since December, the US dollar climbed, and the S&P 500 Index dropped 1.6%.

This mood flowed through to the NZ market which opened weaker and dropped as much as 0.9% before recovering at midday when the Australian market began trading.

The ASX 200 index opened with the same nosedive as other markets, but two dual-listed stocks moved higher and pulled the Kiwi index up with them.

Fisher & Paykel Healthcare jumped 2.3% to $31.60 as investors sought safety in healthcare stocks which are earning extra revenue amid the pandemic.

Almost $40 million worth of the stock was traded on the NZX today, adding $415 million to the company’s market capitalisation. As the biggest stock on the exchange, this helped bring the index back from its decline.

ANZ Banking Group also made significant gains after it revealed plans to buy back A$1.5 billion worth of shares, on Monday evening. Shares on the NZX rose 1.1% to $28.87.

While the bank only makes up a small part of the local index, investors look to the financial sector as a barometer of economic health.

Westpac Bank traded down as much as 1.2% today but recovered with ANZ to close less than 0.1% lower at $25.94.

Not all stocks were so lucky, however. SkyCity Entertainment plunged 3.6%, to $3.18, after saying its Adelaide casino will remain closed for at least another seven days as South Australia goes into lockdown.

Stock exchange operator NZX also took a sharp fall, dropping 2.3% to $1.82, and Vital Healthcare Property Trust declined 1.7% to $3.195 after Jarden analysts reiterated a negative view of the stock.

Genesis Energy shares were down 2.6% at $3.37 after it decided to retain its 46% stake in the Kupe oil and gas field and reported it had run the coal-powered Huntly power station at full capacity to meet demand amid gas shortages and low hydro lakes.

The company said it expects full year 2021 earnings to land somewhere between $405m and $410m.

The kiwi dollar fell with other risk sensitive assets and was trading at 69.40 US cents by 3pm in Wellington, down from 69.84 cents yesterday.

The trade-weighted index was at 73.82 at 3pm, from 74.18 yesterday. The kiwi traded at 94.48 Australian cents from 94.64 cents, 76.00 yen from 76.77 yen, 58.84 euro cents from 59.18 cents, 50.74 British pence from 50.78 pence, and 4.5000 Chinese yuan from 4.5270 yuan.

Tags: Market Close

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