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The Markets

NZX's second big rise in three days

The New Zealand sharemarket followed a strong day on Wall Street with an impressive gain of well over 1%, and utility stocks were again lively.

Thursday, March 30th 2023, 6:44PM

by BusinessDesk

The S&P/NZX 50 Index climbed steadily throughout the session and closed at 11,933.17, up 196.41 points or 1.67% – the highest level in five weeks.

It was the second big rise in three trading days, with the index gaining 1.36% on Tuesday. The index has now risen nearly 4% so far this year.

There were 104 gainers and 29 decliners over the whole market on volume of 37.39 million share transactions worth $140.26m.

Greg Main, Jarden Wealth Management adviser, said “the United States and Australian markets were up nicely and when this happens, we tend to bounce".

“We are reaching the end of the quarter and maybe some investors are positioning themselves. We saw a buy-up at the close of trading two days ago and this flowed through today.”

Wall Street rallied with the Dow Jones Industrial Average up 1% to 32,717.6 points; S&P 500 increasing 1.42% to 4027.81 and now up 4.9% for the year; and Nasdaq Composite rising 1.79% to 11,926.24 and up 13.95% year to date.

Across the Tasman, the S&P/ASX 200 Index had gained 1% to 7120.6 points at 6pm NZ time.

At home, the March ANZ Business Outlook survey indicated that confidence was unchanged at minus 43, and expected own activity was flat at minus 9. Retail, construction and agriculture respondents were generally more upbeat, while manufacturing and services firms became more pessimistic.

ANZ chief economist Sharon Zollner said March had a mix of small rises and falls across activity indicators. “Inflation indicators continue to inch lower – going in the right direction, albeit painfully slowly. For now, the slowdown is looking broadly in line with the Reserve Bank’s intentions.”

Energy stocks were strong. Meridian was up 18c or 3.44% to $5.41; Genesis rose 14c or 5.26% to $2.80; Mercury gained 8c to $6.28; and Vector increased 11c or 2.81% to $4.02.

Contact increased 9c to $7.80 after setting an interest rate of 5.62% for its six-year green bond, which will be issued on April 6.

Telecommunications provider Chorus rose 31.5c or 3.87% to $8.465, and utility investor Infratil gained 18c or 2% to $9.18. The All Utilities sector on the NZX Index was up 2.23%.

Other leading stocks Fisher and Paykel Healthcare gained 25c to $26.20; Fletcher Building increased 19c or 4.38% to $4.53; Mainfreight added 35c to $70.50; and Skellerup Holdings was up 12c or 2.41% to $5.10.

Ebos Group rose $1.61 or 3.58% to a new high of $46.61. Freightways rebounded 42c or 4.58% to $9.60; and so did Napier Port rising 14c or 5.58% to $2.65. Scales Corp was up 10c or 3.26% to $3.17.

Retirement village operators Ryman Healthcare was up 24c or 4.61% to $5.45, and Summerset Group gained 14c to $8.92.

Synlait Milk’s slide ended with a 7c or 3.41% gain to $2.12. Main said Synlait had been sold off and investors found a bottom they were comfortable with – though long-term funding was still a concern.

In the banking sector, ANZ was up 65c or 2.68% to $24.90; Westpac increased 80c or 3.52% to $23.50; and Heartland Group improved 4c or 2.58% to $1.59.

In the property sector, Precinct Properties was up 2.5c or 1.99% to $1.28; Goodman Trust gained 3.5c to $2.14; and Argosy increased 1.5c to $1.13.

Other gainers were Vulcan Steel up 22c or 2.75% to $8.22; Michael Hill collecting 2c or 1.89% to $1.08; Smartpay Holdings increasing 3c or 2.48% to $1.24; and Vista Group up 6c or 4.51% to $1.39.

Pacific Edge improved 2c or 4.88% to 43c; Tourism Holdings gained 7c to $4; AFT Pharmaceuticals was up 10c or 3.03% to $3.40; PGG Wrightson added 16c or 3.83% to $4.34; and investment funds Barramundi (up 2.9%) and Marlin Global (up 2.33%) both rose 2c to 71c and 88c respectively.

Turners Automotive was down 8c or 2.33% to $3.36; NZ Oil & Gas declined 3c or 7.32% to 38c; Allied Farmers decreased 2c to 2.74% to 71c; and Restaurant Brands shed 12c or 1.83% to $6.43.

The Herald reported that marketplace Trade Me, now owned by London-based private equity firm Apax Partners, may be relisted on the NZ and Australia stock exchanges.

Tags: Market Close

« Buyers shun market and shares dipNZ sharemarket takes a breather despite strong performance from Hallenstein Glasson »

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