Market close: NZ shares stage rebound on alert level shift

The New Zealand sharemarket staged a rebound on the news that the country, except for Auckland, was going into alert level 2 on Wednesday – a move that will boost economic activity.

The S&P/NZX 50 Index reached an intraday low of 13,233.88 but recovered in the last hour of trading to close at 13,300.03, up 11.15 points or 0.08 per cent.

There were 51gainers and 83 decliners across the whole market but volume was light with 40.77 million shares worth $120.64 million changing hands.

Jeremy Sullivan, investment adviser with Hamilton Hindin Greene, said the retailers will be pleased with the level 2 announcement because of pent-up spending demand caused by the lockdown, and expect to see a further impetus to the property market.

But the renewed prospect of increased interest rates will now weigh on the market, he said. “You may see the Reserve Bank implement a steeper rise in the official cash rate next month. Swap rates were beginning to rise soon after the Government announcement, and interest rate-sensitive stocks are coming under pressure.”

Chorus fell 13c or 1.81 per cent to $7.07; Contact was down 13c to $8.12; Meridian declined 9.5c or 1.82 per cent to $5.12; Vector decreased 8c or 1.87 per cent to $4.20; and Trustpower shed 10c to $7.80.

Other interest rate-sensitive stocks Spark increased 6c to $4.89; Argosy Property gained 4.5c or 2.67 per cent to $1.73; and Vital Healthcare Property was up 4.5c to $3.225.

Fast food operator Restaurant Brands, now expecting more sales in level 2, rose 19c to $15.70. Travel stocks were also boosted. Auckland International Airport was up 7c to $7.32, and Air New Zealand gained 1.5c to $1.58.

The a2 Milk Company continued to be battered, falling 5c to $5.93 on the news that it will be removed from the S&P/ASX 50 Index on September 20 because its market capitalisation has fallen below $5 billion.

Synlait will be removed for the ASX 300 Index, and its share price fell 12c or 3.58 per cent to $3.23. Another New Zealand company Smartpay Holdings is going out of the ASX All Technology Index, and its share price was down 0.005c to 77c.

Freightways, up 13c to $12.94, will be added to the S&P/NZX 20 Index on September in place of Z Energy. Freightways has increased 71 per cent over the past 12 months and has a market capitalisation of $2.14b to Z Energy’s $1.84b.

Market leader Fisher and Paykel Healthcare had another strong day, rising 30c to $33.75; Delegat Group was up 30c or 2.17 per cent to $14.10; DGL Group increased 5c or 1.98 per cent to $2.57; and Bremworth climbed 6c or 8.7 per cent to 75.

Sky Network Television continued its revival, up another 1c or 4.88 per cent to 21.5c; Pacific Edge picked up a further 8c or 5.67 per cent to $1.49; Rakon increased 4c or 3.67 per cent to $1.13; and Evolve Education gained 5c or 7.58 per cent to 71c.

Online marketing firm Plexure Group, which last week completed an A$15m ($15.6m) capital raise, increased 6c or 9.09 per cent to 72c.

Amongst the decliners, Ebos Group was down 34c to $34.81; Port of Tauranga lost 8c to $7.30; South Port New Zealand fell 12c to $9; Move Logistics shed 5c or 2.86 per cent to $1.70; and Serko decreased 17c or 2.04 per cent to $8.15;

Mānuka honey exporter Comvita gained 1c to $3.70 after announcing an interesting partnership with Caravan, a joint venture with entertainment and sports agency, Creative Artists Agency. Comvita will promote a celebrity-backed lifestyle brand for its manuka honey and propolis products.

New Zealand Oil and Gas increased 1.5c or 3.61 per cent to 43c after telling the market its partner Central Petroleum had completed the second development well in the Northern Territory Mereenie oil and gas field and testing had obtained strong flows. NZOG has a 25 per cent interest in Mereenie.

Third Age Health Services has appointed Tony Wai as its new chief executive, and its share price was unchanged at $2.24. Wai was previously chief operations officer, chief financial officer and interim chief executive at Procare, and starts his new role on September 27.

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