MARKET CLOSE: NZ stocks mixed as global worries weigh

Published: Thu 15 Nov 2018 09:24 PM
MARKET CLOSE: NZ stocks mixed as global worries weigh on local news
By Gavin Evans
Nov. 15 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand shares were mixed as weak international investor sentiment weighed on positive local earnings.
The S/NZX 50 index fell 1.85 points, or 0.02 percent, to 8,825.89. Within the index, 32 stocks fell, seven were unchanged and 11 rose. Turnover was $105 million.
US stocks declined for a fifth day with a bounce in oil prices not enough to quell concerns about slowing tech sector growth and a more hostile international trading environment.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S 500 Index were each down 0.8 percent. In Australia, the S/ASX 200 index was recently down 0.8 percent, with banks again among the losers.
Robert Garden, an investment advisor with Craigs Investment Partners, said US investors are facing rising interest rates and “the potential for a slowing economy.”
In the absence of strong earnings news, investors there are increasingly looking to global drivers – such as the US trade talks with China at the end of the month, or the on-going Brexit talks for the UK.
“There’s a lot happening in the world to look at and get worried about” if that’s your inclination, he said. “That’s followed through to us as well.”
Vector, the country’s biggest power distributor, was the biggest loser in the main benchmark today. The stock fell 3 percent to $3.29, its lowest close since late August. The firm’s board is two directors light after the majority shareholding trust last week withdrew support for two respected Australian infrastructure specialists appointed earlier this year.
The biggest gainer was Freightways, which rose 3.2 percent to $7.03 – recouping half its loss yesterday after larger rival Mainfreight delivered a better-than-expected 32 percent increase in first-half profit to $55.7 million.
Garden said Mainfreight, at an all-time closing high at $31, is an example of the good quality firms investors are happy to reward. It rose 2.5 percent today, following its 5.2 percent increase yesterday.
Garden said good quality yield stocks, like Spark New Zealand and Chorus, and energy and property plays, are also being well supported, given the recent volatility and the outlook for higher interest rates.
Spark was the heaviest traded stock today with almost 2.3 million shares changing hands, down slightly on the daily average for the past three months. It rose 0.9 percent to $4.175.
Chorus rose 0.8 percent to $4.96. Almost 970,000 shares changed hands, about twice the average.
Among other big volume stocks was fuel retailer Z Energy. The stock was unchanged at $5.80 with almost two million shares changing hands – twice the daily average the past three months.
Kiwi Property Group was also unchanged at $1.35. Just over 1.8 million shares were traded, 66 percent more than usual.
Air New Zealand rose 1.5 percent to $3.105. More than 1.7 million shares changed hands, almost 80 percent more than the daily average.
Among the other majors A2 Milk Co rose 1.3 percent to $10.14. Synlait Milk fell 1.2 percent to $8.40.
Garden said both stocks have shown a little more stability recently. The question for some investors remains how their respective platforms in the Chinese market will perform.
Fletcher Building fell 1.6 percent to $5.63 the lowest close in seven months.
Having regained much lost ground earlier in the year, investors are again wary after SkyCity announced further delays on the Auckland convention centre Fletcher is building for it.
“It’s obviously going to come down to some concrete news that things are improving,” Garden said of Fletcher’s outlook.
Pharmaceuticals and pet food company Ebos Group was the second biggest gainers today, rising 2.6 percent to $21.75.
The stock rose a second day after telling investors the 10,000 square-metre warehouse it opened in Brisbane last month may deliver similar productivity and cost improvements to the warehouse it opened in Victoria in 2015.
Rakon was unchanged at 30 cents. The high-tech chip maker reported a 55 percent increase in underlying first-half earnings. It is expecting good demand from its mobile customers but reduced volumes in the global positioning market.
Sanford fell 1.4 percent to $7.25. The fishing company said the 1.5 percent increase in full-year operating earnings to $64.7 million was below expectations after climatic conditions reduced catches.
New Zealand Oil & Gas fell 6.4 percent to 59 cents. The onshore Kohatukai-1 well the firm is a partner won’t deliver commercial volumes of gas and will be plugged and abandoned.
Independent, Trustworthy New Zealand Business News
The Wellington-based BusinessDesk team provides a daily news feed for a serious business audience.
Contact BusinessDesk

Next in Business, Science, and Tech

Next steps for Auckland light rail
By: New Zealand Government
Gender pay gap unchanged since 2017
By: Statistics New Zealand
Stuff pulls pin on media companies' joint ad-buying business
By: BusinessDesk
Transdev to Acquire Auckland And Wellington Bus Businesses
By: Transdev
Twyford's choice: NZTA or Super Fund for Auckland light rail
By: BusinessDesk
A whole term of Government with no shovels in the ground
By: New Zealand National Party
Transport Agency welcomes next steps for light rail
Light rail delay creates highway opportunities
By: Automobile Association
Government taking action to close gender pay gap
By: New Zealand Government
Genter delaying pay equity for publicity stunt
By: New Zealand National Party
Gender Pay Imbalance - call for PM to take action
By: New Zealand Council of Trade Unions
Persistent gender pay gap - need for Govt to move faster
By: NZEI Te Riu Roa
Opportunity to fix the gender pay gap in tertiary sector
By: Tertiary Education Union
Government must take the handbrakes off, deliver equal pay
By: Public Service Association
View as: DESKTOP | MOBILEWe're in BETA! Send Feedback © Scoop Media