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NZ market flattens as investors mull on data

New Zealand’s benchmark index flattened out on Wednesday after a quiet day on the market in terms of news, which gave investors more time to chew over yesterday’s consumer price inflation (CPI) data that came in much lower than expected.

Wednesday, October 18th 2023, 6:03PM

by BusinessDesk

The S&P/NZX 50 Index edged up 7.1 points, or 0.06%, to 11,221.48. Turnover was $85.8 million. There were 62 gainers and 57 decliners on the main board.

Chief investment officer Paul Robertshawe at Octagon Asset Management said Tuesday’s CPI data had been a “positive surprise”.

“It was good news, but I'm not sure we're out of the woods yet in terms of when people might be starting to price rate cuts because inflation is really falling,” he said.

Yesterday’s new CPI data revealed a decrease in annual inflation to 5.6% during the September quarter, and a reduction in the official cash rate is now expected in February 2025, a few months ahead of previous expectations.  

In a note on the latest global dairy trade auction today, Westpac senior agricultural economist Nathan Penny said the worst of the price cycle “may be behind us”, but Westpac remained cautious on the outlook for the rest of the season.

The bank has upped its 2023/24 milk price forecast by 50 cents to $7.25/kg.

Synlait Milk was up 1 cent or 0.7% to $1.36, a2 Milk fell 4 cents or 0.8% to $4.50, and shares in Fonterra Shareholders' Fund Units were flat at $3.11.

AFT Pharmaceuticals told the market today that it had been given approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the United States to sell its intravenous pain relief medicine, Maxigesic IV, in the US.

The stock was up 10 cents or 2.9% to $3.50 by early evening.

Dual-listed cancer diagnostics company Pacific Edge was down a quarter of a cent or 3.7% to 10.5 cents.

Sky Television Network fell 5 cents or 1.8% to $2.75.

Robertshawe said people were speculating about who was behind the bid as the media company has yet to reveal any more details about their mystery bidder.  

“You’d think if it wasn't serious, they'd ask them to sort of come out and say, hey, look, it's gone now, we will resume the buyback. So, the fact the longer it goes on, the more real it probably looks would be the way I'd interpret that,” he said.

Tech firm Scott Technology reported its full-year results, revealing group revenue had climbed 21% to $268m, and net profit after tax was up 21% to $15.4m.

“We were positioned to fly, and we have really seen that acceleration of growth take hold in the 2023 financial year,” chief executive John Kippenberger told the market. Scott Technology was up 14 cents or 4.2% to $3.49 by the end of the day.

The NZ dollar was trading at 58.86 US cents at 3pm in Wellington, down from 59.06 US cents on Tuesday. The trade-weighted index was at 70.04, from 70.22 on Tuesday.

Tags: Market Close

« NZ market lifts after surprise CPI dataInternational tension, high bond yields drives stocks lower »

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