The New Zealand sharemarket followed Wall Street lower. Photo / AP
The New Zealand sharemarket couldn’t stand Wall Street’s second sharp sell-off in the last three trading days and reached a 19-month low following a near 1 per cent fall.
The S&P/NZX 50 Index did recover
late in the day but closed down 86.79 points or 0.73 per cent to 11,726.39. The index was at 11, 704.62 points on September 23, 2020 – compared with its all-time high of 13,558.19 set on January 8, 2021.
There were 105 decliners and just 30 gainers over the whole market on volume of 56.52 million shares worth $186.72 million.
The central banks’ monetary tightening resulting in higher interest rates is now weighing on markets more than ever – and growth stocks and the interest rate-sensitive shares locally are suffering.
Greg Smith, head of retail with Devon Funds Management, said it’s curious. “The economic situation in New Zealand is not that bad. Inflation is tracking less than forecast and unemployment is below 4 per cent – the economy is in good shape.
“The index may have reached its lowest level since September 2020 but investors should not worry unduly. With the fall, value is starting to for the stronger companies that have weathered the pandemic storm,” he said.
“Really, there are some companies that are cheaper than they were and are on sale in more ways than one. Pushpay is a prime example, having had multiple expressions of interest to buy the company.”
Smith said over the time the index has been dragged down by two of its biggest stocks, Fisher and Paykel Healthcare and a2 Milk.
In the United States, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 2.38 per cent to 33,240.18, and the S&P 500 declined 2.81 per cent to 4175.2. The Nasdaq Composite, driven by high-growth technology stocks, is way into bear market territory after a 3.95 per cent fall to 12,490.74. The Nasdaq is at a 52-week low and has fallen 22 per cent from its all-time high.
At home, Pushpay Holdings fell 4c or 3.13 per cent to $1.24 after posting a 24 per cent rise the day before on the takeover speculation.
The Warehouse Group shone, increasing 15c or 4.69 per cent to $3.35. The big retailer is replacing Z Energy in the NZX 50 Index after Z Energy is bought by Ampol and delisted on May 10. Contact Energy rose 21c or 2.64 per cent to $8.17.
Fisher and Paykel Healthcare was down a further 26c to $21.65, after reaching $37.68 on August 28, 2020. The a2 Milk Company also hit a new low, falling 9c or 1.84 per cent to $4.81 – a far cry from its high of $21.51 on July 30, 2020.
Skillup Holdings 12c or 2.11per cent declined to $5.58; Restaurant Brands was down 23c or 1.82 per cent to $12.39; Freightways shed 24c or 1.99 per cent to $11.85; ANZ Banking Group decreased 66c or 2.19 per cent to $29.49; and Fletcher Building fell 25c or 3.97 per cent to $6.05.
Summerset Group Holdingsdown 12c to $11.40, told shareholders at its annual meeting that it invested $320m into its building program on 16 sites last year, and remains the largest constructor and landbank holder in the New Zealand retirement village sector.
Rayman Healthcare 17c or 1.87 per cent declined to a new low of $8.90, and Arvida Group was down 4c or 2.44 per cent to $1.60.
Sky Network Television declined 7c or 2.6 per cent to $2.62; Goodman Property Trust was down 7c or 3.02 per cent to $2.25; Hallenstein Glasson shed 11c or 1.86 per cent to $5.81; Trade Window fell 8c or 4.52 per cent to $1.69; and Move Logistics decreased 4c or 2.84 per cent to $1.37.
New Zealand King Salmon Investments, down 7c or 19.44 per cent to 29c, has opened its $60.1m renounceable 2.85 new shares for 1 rights offer at 15c a share. The offer closes on May 5.
Other decliners were Heartland Group Holdings down 6c or 2.58 per cent to $2.27; Vulcan Steel decreasing 21c or 2.03 per cent to $10.12; Michael Hill International shedding 4c or 3.15 per cent to $1.23; and Pacific Edge falling 2c or 2.22 per cent to 88c.
Among the few gainers, Infratil increased 12c to $8.28, and Cannasouth gained 1.5c or 4.35 per cent to 36c.
New Zealand Oil & Gas has announced a $25m renounceable 2.7625 for 1 rights offer at 42c a share, opening on May 9 and closing May 23. The money will be used for investment in growth projects in Australia and New Zealand. With more activity in Australia, NZOG is converting to a full listing on the ASX and retaining a foreign exempt status on the NZX. NZOG’s share price was down 3c or 5.77 per cent to 49c.