The New Zealand sharemarket had one of its quietest days of the year in terms of price movements and company announcements, and it closed with another small fall.

The S&P/NZX 50 Index was down 10.07 points or 0.08 per cent to 12,429.98, falling steadily throughout the day after reaching an early-morning high of 12,503.68.

There were 87 gainers and 55 decliners over the whole market, with 39.59 million shares worth $170.05 million changing hands.

Greg Smith, head of research for Fat Prophets, said there was a vacuum of company and economic news, and the market was in a quiet place.

He said Friday’s latest United States non-farm payroll figures, which indicate the rate of economic growth and inflation, will be keenly anticipated. “Hopefully the figures are not too hot and not too cold.

“At home, may be there has been a dampening of investor sentiment with the realisation that the border and tourism sector will not completely open up as quickly as was hoped, and though Australia and New Zealand contained Covid-19 well, they have fallen behind the pack in the vaccine roll-out.”

Most of the large cap stocks were steady. But Freightways continued to move ahead, rising 8c to $12.25, and Ryman Healthcare recovering 9.6c to $12.97. Rival Summerset Group Holdings was down 10c to $12.55.

Mainfreight was up 75c to $77.05; Fletcher Building gained 7c to $7.66; Fonterra Shareholders’ Fund rose 7c or 1.77 per cent to $4.02; Scales Corporation increased 13c or 2.8 per cent to $4.78; and Scott Technology picked up 10c or 3.92 per cent to $2.65.

Port of Tauranga recovered 12c or 1.65 per cent to $7.38; and Napier Port was up 2c to $3.37.

Market leader Fisher and Paykel Healthcare was down 25c to $28.87 on trade worth $37.45m; Ebos Group shed 18c to $33.62; Briscoe Group fell 14c or 2.36 per cent to $5.78; Restaurant Brands decreased 37c or 2.67 per cent to $13.51; NZX declined 5c or 2.35 per cent to $2.08; Sanford lost 6c to $4.89, and Seeka was down 5c to $4.80.

In the energy sector, Contact fell 18c or 2.25 per cent to $7.82; Meridian was down 6c to $5.26; Mercury slipped 5c to $6.84; Trustpower declined 8c to $8.58; and Genesis was up 4.5c to $3.49.

SkyCity Entertainment fell 7c or 1.92 per cent to $3.57, Serko was down 12c to $7.14, and Tourism Holdings declined 4c to $2.52 – all beneficiaries of border re-opening.

Me Today, which is buying manuka honey supplier King Honey for $36m, rose 0.005c or 5.43 per cent to 9.7c; and ikeGPS, picking up new contracts, climbed 9c or 8.74 per cent to $1.12.

Former Air New Zealand chief executive Rob Fyfe is taking over from Emma Hill as chair of retail jeweller Michael Hill, and its share price gained 3c or 3.53 per cent to 88c.

New Zealand King Salmon Investments told the market that present trading “was problematic” because of the smaller fish size and reduced biomass in the Pelorus Sound, and fish sizes should recover by July. King Salmon’s share price fell 8c or 5 per cent to $1.52.

New Zealand Rural Land Company was unchanged at $1.13 after confirming the purchase of 15 dairy farms for $122.7m. They comprise the 14 Van Leeuwen Group farms totalling 6350ha in South Canterbury and North Otago, and the Southland 456ha property.

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