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Tower update steadies NZ sharemarket

The New Zealand sharemarket finished flat after a rocky day, but was boosted by leading insurer Tower’s second earnings upgrade within two months.

Tuesday, June 11th 2024, 6:45PM

by BusinessDesk

The S&P/NZX 50 Index fluctuated between a high of 11,829.88 and low of 11,770.06 before closing at 11,785.48, down 2.08 points or 0.02%.

There were 61 gainers and 67 decliners over the whole market with 41.23 million shares worth $144.3m changing hands.

Matt Goodson, managing director of Salt Funds Management, said the local market fared better than Australia.

“We were open when they were closed for King’s Birthday (on Monday), and the Australian market was playing catch-up with the strong jobs growth and increased bond yields in the United States.

“Australia’s fall was led by commodities and gold stocks, which are not part of our index,” Goodson said. The S&P/ASX 200 Index had fallen 1.41% to 7749.1 points at 6pm NZ time.

The major US indices had slight rises with the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite reaching new highs after gaining 0.26% to 5,360.79 points and 0.35% to 17,192.53 respectively.

At home, ANZ Research has maintained its forecast of 0.2% growth in the first quarter gross domestic product (GDP), in line with the Reserve Bank’s predictions.

ANZ said the GDP details will matter for the Reserve Bank with the underlying state of domestic demand and services momentum key to assessing sticky inflation risks.

“All in all, the GDP data is expected to provide further confirmation that economic momentum is weak and consistent with continued disinflation. But always, there will be some noise to look through.”

ANZ said the annual current account deficit is expected to narrow 0.2 points to 6.7% – still too wide to call sustainable.

On the sharemarket

Tower increased 3.5c or 4.29% to 85c after upgrading its full-year net profit guidance to more than $40m, compared with the $35m advised in mid-April.

Tower said no large events, it has an allowance of $45m, have been reported in the financial year so far, and if this continued through to the end of September, the net profit would increase by an additional $32m to $72m.

Goodson said Tower reiterated its initial guidance at the end of May within two weeks of the half-year result and at the time “their metrics looked to be showing conversative numbers. Now suddenly you could be talking profit of more than $72m".

“After several years of real pain, Tower is finally getting a pay-back and is in a classic insurance cycle. They have been smashed by big natural events over the past few years, claims cost inflation has leaped and reinsurance costs have gone up.

“It takes time to lift premiums and the cost inflation is looking like peaking. Tower can have some years of good sailing before the next cycle,” Goodson said.

Freightways was up 14c or 1.75% to $8.14; Summerset Group gained 16c to $9.70; Fonterra Shareholders’ Fund increased 12c or 3.03% to $4.08; and Mainfreight 45c to $69.10.

The property sector was stronger. Argosy increased 3.6c or 3.51% to $1.08; Investore improved 2c or 1.92%; Stride was up 3c or 2.42% to $1.27; and Vital Healthcare Trust gained 4c or 2.09% to $1.95. 

Mercury Energy, up 13.5c or 2.06% to $6.70, announced chief executive Vince Hawksworth was retiring at the end of August after more than four years in the role. He has been replaced internally by executive general manager generation Stew Hamilton, who was previously chief executive at New Zealand Aluminium Smelters.

Genesis Energy rebounded 8.5c or 4.05% to $2.185 after being dragged down by the lack of success in lifting the daily production of the Kupe KS-9 well. NZ Oil & Gas told the market the impacts for the gas field were still under detailed view.

Genesis has 46%, NZOG 4% and operator Beach Energy 50% in the gas field.

Other gainers were Napier Port improving 6c or 2.46% to $2.50; NZME up 2c or 2.3% to 89c; and NZX increasing 4c or 3.85% to $1.08.

Fisher and Paykel Healthcare was down 13c to $29.42 on trade worth $18.72m; Auckland International Airport eased 9c to $7.49; Vulcan Steel fell 33c or 4.26% to $7.42; Synlait Milk shed 1.5c or 4.11% to 35c; Hallenstein Glasson declined 20c or 3.7% to $5.20; and Sky Network Television shed 14c or 5.51% to $2.40.

Tags: Market Close

« NZ sharemarket dips on light tradingNZ market falls, Fisher & Paykel Healthcare bolsters trading »

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