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The Markets

Sharemarket starts week on a buoyant note

The New Zealand sharemarket moved into the Anzac Day commemoration in a buoyant mood, rising nearly one percent with several consumer stocks having a solid day.

Monday, April 24th 2023, 6:56PM

by BusinessDesk

The S&P/NZX 50 Index started the week slowly but had a strong rally on light trading in the afternoon to breach the 12,000 points level for the first time in nine weeks.

The index closed at 12,026.39, up 98.89 points or 0.83%, after reaching an intraday low of 11,873.81. The index was at 12,144.66 points on Feb 17.

There were 75 gainers and 55 decliners over the whole market, with 19.98 million shares worth $72.25m changing hands.

Shane Solly, portfolio manager with Harbour Asset Management, said local economic activity has been holding up better than people thought and investors have some confidence to move back into stocks.

“Consumers in NZ have been resilient and with high employment they haven’t seen a slowdown yet. That is concentrated in a few sectors such as building and dairying.

“Inflation is coming down and globally, economies may be moving from a hard to soft landing. This sentiment has flowed through the markets and even to NZ,” Solly said.

Kiwibank has predicted that the Reserve Bank will cut the official cash rate (OCR) in November as the economy heads into a recession – after one more increase of 25 basis points next month. Kiwibank chief economist Jarrod Kerr is confident inflation has peaked and said a further OCR hike is not needed. “It may push the economy into a bigger than necessary slump.”

Retailers Briscoe Group was up 14c or 3.04% to $4.74, and Hallenstein Glasson increased 15c or 2.78% to $5.55. Meal kit company My Food Bag was up 1c or 5% to 21c, and seafood company Sanford gained 10c or 2.47% to $4.15.

Fast food operator Restaurant Brands rose 16c or 2.37% to $6, after reporting a 12% or $33.2m increase in total sales to $308.6m for the first quarter ending March.

NZ sales were up 9.2% to $129.4m, Australia’s 15.5% to $73.7m, Hawaii's 9.3% to $61.8m, and California's 0.3% to $43.7m. Restaurant Brand’s sales growth was supported by 12 additional stores.

Heavy lifting

Market leaders Fisher and Paykel Healthcare and Meridian Energy did some heavy lifting, rising 51c or 1.89% to $27.55 and 12c or 2.27% to $5.40 respectively.

Other energy stocks were busy. Contact was up 7c to $7.65; Mercury added 6c to $6.26; Manawa increased 8c to $4.90; Genesis added 4c to $2.75; while Vector was down 5c to $4.02.

Ebos Group was up 20c to $45.70; Mainfreight collected 99c to $72.99; Port of Tauranga increased 12c or 1.88% to $6.50; Freightways gained 10c to $9.49; Summerset was up 6c to $8.22; and Heartland Group rose 4c or 2.55% to $1.61.

Other gainers were Arvida Group up 2c or 1.92% to $1.06; Delegat Group increasing 24c or 2.74% to $9; Rakon improving 4c or 4.4% to 95c; and Bremworth adding 2c or 5.88% to 36c.

Property companies Kiwi was up 1c to 89c, Argosy gained 1.5 to $1.13, and Vital Healthcare Trust gained 2.5c to $2.295.

Insurer Tower, up 0.005 to 61.5c, has had its A- financial strength rating reaffirmed by global agency AM Best.

Task Group increased 4.5c or 11.69% to 43c after confirming it has exceeded its guidance with full-year revenue of $65m and operating earnings (Ebitda) of $12m.

Skellerup Holdings decreased 6c to $4.80; AFT Pharmaceuticals was down 5c to $3.45; Smartpay Holdings declined 4.5c or 3.18% to 1.77% to $1.37; and Steel & Tube shed 2c or 1.87% to $1.05.

Vital fell 4c or 13.79% to 25c; NZ King Salmon Investments decreased 1c or 4.65% to 20.5c; T&G Global shed 4c or 1.95% to $2.01; and Carbon Fund declined 4c or 2.11% to $1.86.

Synlait Milk remained in a trading halt, and Solly said: “We don’t know what is happening. But the longer an announcement is delayed the more cynical investors become.”

He said the company is in a sticky place in terms of cash flow, and the right thing to do is take extra time to get a financial restructure in place if that is what’s needed.

Tags: Market Close

« Sharemarket ends week with an upwards tickNZ market down following Synlait profit downgrade »

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