MARKET CLOSE: NZX50 ends year 9% higher

Article – BusinessDesk

Dec. 30 (BusinessDesk) – New Zealand shares were mixed on the last trading day of the year, with the benchmark index ending 9 percent higher than on Jan. 1, breaking a four-year streak of double-digit gains.Friday 30 December 2016 01:32 PM

MARKET CLOSE: NZX50 ends year 9% higher, but well off its 2016 highs

By Sophie Boot

Dec. 30 (BusinessDesk) – New Zealand shares were mixed on the last trading day of the year, with the benchmark index ending 9 percent higher than on Jan. 1, breaking a four-year streak of double-digit gains.

The index had rallied by as much as 20.6 percent in the year, reaching a record 7,571.1 on Sept. 7, but fell back as rising global interest rates made local yield stocks less attractive. The election of Donald Trump as US President caused the largest daily fall this year, down 3.3 percent on Nov. 9, while the UK vote to leave the European Union saw a 2.3 percent fall on June 24.

In 2012, the index gained 24.3 percent; in 2013, 16.8 percent; in 2014, 16.9 percent; and in 2015, 12.8 percent.

Meanwhile, in abbreviated trading today, the S&P/NZX50 Index fell 11.06 points, or 0.2 percent, to 6,881.22. Within the index, 32 stocks rose, nine fell and nine were unchanged. Turnover was $69.9 million.

“We’re virtually unchanged today. We might have a little bit of action going into the match at the end of the day, given it’s the end of the year there could be a bit of book-squaring going on,” said Grant Williamson, director at Hamilton Hindin Greene. “There’s been no news, it’s been relatively quiet trade as a lot of participants are on holiday.”

Auckland International Airport dropped 4.6 percent to $6.25 and has gained 13.9 percent this year.

“It’s under a bit of uncertainty given what the Commerce Commission might do with regulation of their charging. That’s put the stock on a bit of a back foot and investors are being quite cautious there,” Williamson said.

Comvita fell 2 percent to $8.03, Fisher & Paykel Healthcare Corp dropped 1.8 percent to $8.52, and Ryman Healthcare fell 1.3 percent to $8.11.

Kathmandu Holdings was the best performer, up 4.3 percent to $1.95, while Stride Property rose 3.5 percent to $1.77 and Scales Corp gained 3 percent to $3.45.

Tourism Holdings gained 0.8 percent to $3.70, a price last seen in 1993. It’s risen 67.6 percent this year.

“It’s closing off the year very well. It just highlights what’s happening in the New Zealand tourism sector at the moment. Obviously, the company is expanding as well offshore; the investors seem to like that very much,” Williamson said. “It’s one sector analysts are saying should remain pretty robust over the next year, and investors obviously try to pick stocks that are going to benefit from that.”

Outside the benchmark index, Plexure Group rose 33 percent to 32 cents. NZX has said it will carefully analyse trading ahead of the price-sensitive announcement that it has gained the largest McDonald’s franchisee in Latin America and the Caribbean as a customer. The shares gained 26 percent yesterday, having fallen to record low 19 cents per share on Dec. 22 and have still dropped 46 percent this year.

NZAX-listed mobile payments company Lateral Corp was unchanged at 5 cents. Lateral is the vehicle for a backdoor listing in a $3.2 million deal with property developer Golden Tower NZ. Auckland-based Golden Tower will pay $1.6 million in cash and add as an asset a commercial property valued at $1.6 million for new shares giving it a 90 percent shareholding in Lateral, dependent on shareholder approval. The move effectively takes the Lateral business private.

(BusinessDesk)

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