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MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares fall for 8th day as investors remain nervous; Fonterra down

Wednesday 10th October 2018

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New Zealand shares fell for an eighth day as investors remain uncertain about the global economic outlook. Fonterra Shareholders' Fund fell on the milk processor's lower forecast payout to farmers. 

The S&P/NZX 50 index declined 19.16 points, or 0.2 percent, to 9,050.82. Within the index, 26 stocks fell, 20 gained and four were unchanged. Turnover was $142.6 million. 

Financial markets have become more volatile as the Federal Reserve's projected interest rate hikes drive up US government bond yields. That's weighed more heavily on growth-orientated stocks that typically trade at a high price-to-earnings ratio, such as Synlait Milk, which led the market lower today, down 2.2 percent to $9.67. Pushpay Holdings, which is forgoing short-term earnings to pursue global growth, fell 2.1 percent to $3.73. 

"There's still ongoing issues with trade wars, there are debt problems in Italy - there's probably more to worry about in the market today than three or four months ago," said Peter McIntyre, an investment adviser at Craigs Investment Partners. 

Fonterra Shareholders' Fund units were down 1.9 percent to $4.62 after the milk processor downgraded its forecast farmgate payout and raised its production expectations. 

McIntyre said that would typically be a positive for Fonterra's consumer and foodservice operations, given the farmgate milk price is a cost to the business. 

Auckland International Airport declined 1.7 percent to $7.16. The airport will list $150 million of six-year bonds on the NZX tomorrow, paying annual interest of 3.51 percent. 

New Zealand Refining fell 1.5 percent to $2.55 and Z Energy slipped 0.7 percent to $6.95.

Fletcher Building decreased 1.3 percent to $6.22 after Steel & Tube reiterated its reasons why it rejected a takeover bid by its larger rival. Steel & Tube rose 0.7 percent to $1.49.

Vector fell 0.9 percent to $3.40 after saying it will settle reliability breaches with the Commerce Commission.

Genesis Energy was unchanged at $2.48 after improving its customer churn in the first quarter and registering increased retail electricity and gas sales volumes. Today's annual meeting was the last for chair Jenny Shipley. 

NZX posted the biggest gain, up 2.8 percent to $1.11, a three-week high. Metlifecare gained 2.3 percent to $6.27, Restaurant Brands New Zealand was up $2.3 percent to $7.70 and Sky Network Television rose 1.9 percent to $2.12. 

Heartland Bank gained 1.8 percent to $1.72 after the government outlined plans to impose new restrictions and tighter regulation on payday lenders. The licensed bank lends money through peer-to-peer lender Harmoney Corp, of which it owns 13 percent. Trade Me, which owns 15 percent of Harmoney, rose 1 percent to $5.08. 

Among other listed financiers outside the benchmark index, Geneva Finance was unchanged at 55 cents, General Capital was unchanged at 7 cents, while Turners Automotive Group rose 1.4 percent to $2.97. 

TeamTalk gained 8.9 percent to 86 cents after saying its 2019 annual earnings would match the year-earlier result, even as it faced increased operating costs and investment. 

Abano Healthcare fell 3.2 percent after yesterday's annual meeting where the dental clinic investor warned annual earnings will face a squeeze on margins this year. 

TIL Logistics fell 5.4 percent to $1.57 after coming off a trading halt. Its major shareholders sold a smaller stake than they'd been prepared to divest. 

(BusinessDesk)

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