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NZ sharemarket kept afloat thanks to F&P Healthcare

The New Zealand sharemarket drifted slightly lower on a quiet day, with leader Fisher and Paykel Healthcare again doing the hard graft.

Wednesday, May 8th 2024, 6:48PM

by BusinessDesk

The S&P/NZX 50 Index reached a morning low of 11,734.7 but raised itself to close at 11,782.89, down 17.89 points or 0.15%. 

There were 63 gainers and 74 decliners on the main board, with volumes of 33.59 million share transactions worth $146.69m. 

Fisher and Paykel Healthcare, up 25c to $29.15, made up more than a quarter of the day’s trading, with $40.99m worth of its shares changing hands. Fisher and Paykel’s share price is now at a 28-month high.

The latest Global Dairy Trade auction index increased 1.8%, following a 1.1% gain in the previous auction in mid-April. 

Whole milk powder increased by 2.4% to an average of US$3,350 per metric tonne, and skim milk powder was up 0.4% to US$2,551 (NZ$5,591) metric tonne. Cheddar cheese rose 8% to US$4,257 metric tonne, and butter gained 2.1% to US$6,593 metric tonne.

The ANZ World Commodity Price Index lifted 0.5% in April. The meat and fibre index continued to improve, with a 6.3% increase in beef prices. Lamb improved slightly but is still 10% weaker than a year ago, while wool prices dropped, wiping out the gains achieved in the past six months. 

The forestry index plummeted in April, with log prices now at their lowest level since October 2016. China's demand is extremely weak at present as construction activity remains subdued. 

Aluminium prices shot up 11.5% to a 15-month high after the US and EU imposed sanctions on aluminium, copper and nickel produced by Russia, accounting for about 5% of the global supply.

Mark Lister, investment director with Craigs Investment Partners, said the market is a little subdued with not a lot of economic and earnings releases around at the moment.

“Mind you, a day without a profit warning is a good day, and investors would not be unhappy that it’s quiet with all the bad news they’ve had lately. 

"Most of the weakness have been amongst stocks that are economically sensitive, though Spark (with its earnings downgrade) went against the trend, which wasn’t great news.” 

He said the second half of the month will liven up with the local reporting season, a big United States inflation report, the NZ Reserve Bank meeting and the budget.

Local market

Spark was down 10c or 2.27% to a four-year low of $4.31 on trade worth $17.34m; Mainfreight declined 89c to $68.40; Turners Automotive shed 13c or 3.15% to $4; Fletcher Building eased 7c or 1.93% to $3.56; and Vulcan Steel fell 35c or 4.49% to $7.45.

Chorus declined 14c or 1.93% to $7.11; Mercury Energy was down 11c or 1.71% to $6.31; Freightways eased 15c to $8.37; and Skellerup decreased 7c or 1.17% to $4.02.

Ryman Healthcare was down a further 5c to a near 12-year low of $3.85; and Comvita slid 4c or 2.19% to a near 14-year low of $1.79.

Lister said there was talk of a takeover bid for Comvita, but “we haven’t seen any evidence. There’s nothing of substance for anyone to latch on to.”

He said Ryman was interesting for long-term investors. 

“It is still a good business with a solid set of assets, and it just dropped the ball in terms of execution.”

Other decliners were Pacific Edge, down 0.007c or 7% to 9.3c; Metro Performance Glass, falling 1c or 11.76% to 7.5c; and PaySauce, shedding 3.5c or 12.96% to 23.5c.

Auckland International Airport, up 4c to $7.85, has filled its $250m six-and-a-half bond offer carrying an interest rate of 5.45% a year. The bonds will be issued on May 15.

SkyCity increased 4c or 2.37% to $1.73; a2 Milk was up 7c to $6.77; Tourism Holdings rebounded 4c or 2.05% to $1.98; Arvida Group added 2c or 2.04% to $1; and Eroad gained 2c or 2.33% to 88c.

Air NZ rose 3c or 5.77% to 55c; Investore gained 3c or 2.75% to $1.12; My Food Bag improved 0.004c or 3.45% to 12c; NZ Rural Land added 4c or 4.4% to 95c; and Green Cross Health was up 3c or 3.03% to $1.02.

Tags: Market Close

« NZ sharemarket down slightlyNZ sharemarket falls to near nine week low »

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