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MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares gain as relief rally bolsters

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MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares gain as relief rally bolsters pipeline affected Air NZ, Z EnergyMARKET CLOSE: NZ shares gain as relief rally bolsters pipeline affected Air NZ, Z Energy

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By Paul McBeth

Sept. 20 (BusinessDesk) – New Zealand shares rose for a second day as stocks weighed by fears about the jet fuel shortage in Auckland such as Air New Zealand and Z Energy joined other companies in bouncing back from a recent sell-down.

The S&P/NZX 50 index gained 54.71 points, or 0.7 percent, to 7819.24. Within the index, 23 stocks rose, 22 fell and five were unchanged. Turnover was $156 million.

Air New Zealand and Z gained after coming under pressure in recent days as investors weighed up the impact of damage to the pipeline linking the Marsden Point refinery to Auckland, leading to a shortage of jet fuel at Auckland International Airport. Air NZ rose 1.3 percent to $3.24, Z gained 2.3 percent to $7.57 and Auckland Airport increased 1.1 percent to $6.45.

“A few names feel like they’re bouncing back after being under a little bit of pressure for a few days,” said James Lindsay, a senior portfolio manager at Nikko Asset Management. “Some of the stocks related to the pipeline incident – Auckland Airport, Air New Zealand – feel better bid today.”

That didn’t extend to New Zealand Refining which fell 0.8 percent to $2.42. The refinery operator still expects to resume service on the pipeline some time between Sunday and Tuesday.

Lindsay said other companies bouncing back today had been sold off in recent days, such as telecommunications network operator Chorus, breathing mask maker Fisher & Paykel Healthcare, and power company Mercury NZ, which rose 2.3 percent to $4.01, 2.9 percent to $3.355, and 2.5 percent to $12.45 respectively. Mercury led the index higher.

“A number of offshore orders were driving the market’s performance and maybe they’ve cleared or finished their lines and allowed the stock to recover from weakness,” he said. “It’s a wee bit of a relief rally in a few names.”

Synlait Milk was the worst performer on the day, falling 2.5 percent to $5.40. However, the stock reached an all-time high yesterday after posting an 11 percent increase in annual profit and has been a beneficiary of the rapid growth at A2 Milk, which it supplies. A2 rose 1.9 percent to $6.

Fletcher Building slipped 0.1 percent to $8.16 after kicking off a boardroom refresh with the departure of directors John Judge and Kate Spargo, who has joined ASX-listed Cimic Group’s board. Fletcher wants their replacements to have construction and contracting experience.

A number of companies held their annual meetings today, including Genesis Energy which increased 0.2 percent to $2.40, and Oceania Health which was unchanged at 95 cents.

Outside the benchmark index, Orion Health rose 1.7 percent to $1.17 after chair Andrew Ferrier told shareholders the board is whittling down the options on the table in a strategic review, while Turners Automotive Group rose 1 percent to $3.18 after providing guidance that pre-tax earnings could rise by as much as 26 percent.

SeaDragon was unchanged at 0.6 of a cent after telling shareholders it expected to report a smaller annual loss in the upcoming year and was exploring toll manufacturing of concentrated fish oil rather than redeveloping its old omega-2 refinery for boutique applications.


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