Omicron in the US hits market

New Zealand's sharemarket fell in sync with Wall Street which took a last-minute dive in the early hours of Thursday morning after the first case of omicron was found in the US.

Thursday, December 2nd 2021, 6:31PM

by BusinessDesk

The S&P/NZX 50 Index fell 54 points, or 0.4%, to 12,670.24. Turnover was $157 million.

BNZ strategist Jason Wong said markets remain nervous about the variant and are in an “information vacuum until more data” on its transmissibility, deadliness, and vaccine resistance becomes available.

In the meantime, US investors chose to take some risk off the table and the main indices all turned negative in the final hour of the American trading session, closing down more than 1%.

This was enough to throw off-market sentiment in Asian markets with Australia’s ASX 200 falling at market open before gradually recovering throughout the day.

Cinema software company Vista Group led the local market lower, falling 3.4% to $2.26, followed by NZX which dropped 2.8% to $1.75.

Air New Zealand Limited fell 1.3% to $1.49 and Sky City Entertainment declined 1% to $2.99, both are covid sensitive stocks.

Air NZ’s chief executive today reiterated the company’s intention to raise capital early next year and warned he didn’t expect international travel to recover fully until all pandemic friction was gone.

The airline's operating statistics for October showed passenger numbers were down 50% on the same month last year and down 9.3% year-to-date.

Fletcher Building had the index’s biggest jump, climbing 3.3% to $6.91, followed by Restaurant Brands NZ which rose 2.3% to $15.50.

DGL Group rose 6.6% to $2.58 after telling shareholders at its annual general meeting it expects to beat the earnings forecast in its prospectus by $15m due to additional earnings from acquisitions.

Kiwi Property Group rose 0.6% to $1.14 after announcing it would sell retailer IKEA a piece of land at Sylvia Park to establish its presence.

Jarden’s head of research Arie Dekker said NZ’s first IKEA store should come with “a meaningful uplift in visitation” to Kiwi Property’s flagship asset.

“This looks to us like a strong validation of the location of Kiwi Property’s prime mixed-use asset by a major international retailer entering New Zealand and something that should be supportive of the value it can extract from the asset in the future,” he said.

The New Zealand Refining Company was up 1.1% at 87 cents as it opened the retail component of its capital raise at 83 cents per share.

The NZ dollar was trading at 68.11 US cents today, down from 68.24 cents yesterday as risk sentiment took yet another hit.

Tags: Market Close

« Omicron and inflation risks flatten share marketShares close unchanged; Napier Port booted from NZX 50 »

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