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NZ shares flat as market stabilise

New Zealand’s benchmark index was unchanged on Monday with investors cautiously optimistic about the prospect of peace in Ukraine and unfazed by hawkish central banks.

Monday, March 21st 2022, 7:21PM

by BusinessDesk

New Zealand’s benchmark index was unchanged on Monday with investors cautiously optimistic about the prospect of peace in Ukraine and unfazed by hawkish central banks.

The S&P/NZX 50 Index rose just two points to 12177.75. Turnover was $172 million.

Jeffrey Halley, a market analyst at Oanda, said Asian markets were “cautiously higher this morning as the weekend produced lots of noise, but little of real actionable substance”.

Stephen Innes, a managing partner at SPI Asset Management, said stabilising stock markets suggested investors were slowly regaining confidence.

“Not because views on geopolitical or policy/rates risk have improved but because price action shows a market more tolerant of those challenges,” he said.

Stocks on the local exchange were mixed, although there were more ups than downs on the day.

Arvida Group led the winners, climbing 4.4% to $1.65.

Some analysts have pointed to this stock as one that is undervalued by the market, compared to other retirement companies. Vista Group International was also up 2.8% at $1.85, while Ebos Group climbed 2.3% to $38.31.

Despite a larger number of positive stocks, some larger listed companies pulled the index down: Auckland International Airport fell 4% to $7.615, Mainfreight dropped 0.7% to $80.40, and Mercury NZ was down 1.7% at $5.70.

Some small-cap stocks posted big falls.

Plexure Group dropped 4.6% to 31.5 cents and My Food Bag fell 4.3% to 90 cents – it traded at a new low of 88 cents during the day.

Travel booking company Serko shed 2.2% to $4.50. Fonterra Shareholders' Fund Units fell half a percent to $3.48 after the cooperative announced it was shutting down its Russian operations.

“Following careful consideration of the impact on our people and our long-term plans for the Russian market, we will now close our office in Moscow, re-deploying staff where possible, and withdraw from our joint venture Unifood,” said chief executive Miles Hurrell.

Car dealership Armstrong’s has hit pause on its plans to dual list on the NZX with an initial public offer that had been expected to happen early this year.

Chief executive Troy Kennedy said the company had decided to wait for more stable market conditions before attempting the offer.

The NZ dollar continued to gain over the weekend and was trading at 69.17 US cents at 3pm in Wellington, up from 68.93 cents on Friday. BNZ strategist Nick Smyth said the improvement in risk appetite helped propel the kiwi and Australian dollars to fresh multi-month closing highs.

Tags: Market Close

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AIA 5.95 4.85 5.35 5.65
ANZ 5.94 5.95 6.40 6.59
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ASB Bank 5.85 5.35 5.80 5.99
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Basecorp Finance 6.95 - - -
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BNZ - Classic - 5.35 5.69 5.99
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