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MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares drop; Pushpay, Trade Me fall while Kathmandu, Fletcher rise

Tuesday 26th June 2018

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New Zealand shares dropped as heightened global trade tensions weighed across Asian equity markets, led lower by Pushpay Holdings and Trade Me Group while Kathmandu Holdings gained again following its upgrade yesterday.

The S&P/NZX50 Index dipped 6.44 points, or 0.07 percent, to 8,989.8. Within the index, 26 stocks fell, 20 rose and four were unchanged. Turnover was $112 million.

"Global markets got spooked by ongoing discussion about trade wars - statements by the US and Chinese governments particularly around technology investment has lead to weakness overnight," said Shane Solly, director, portfolio manager & research analyst at Harbour Asset Management. "We have certainly had a very modest reaction on the day, in line with the rest of Asia. There's not really any signs of panic, very moderate and activity is modest." 

Pushpay led the index lower, down 2.9 percent to $4.07. Last week, the mobile payment app company completed a $100 million bookbuild at $4.04 per share.

"Obviously it's post-placement, and people may be starting to think what happens if US technology stocks continue to come off," Solly said. 

Trade Me fell 2.4 percent to $4.81. Chief executive Jon Macdonald intends to step down in about six months, leaving a position he held for more than a decade and a company he joined in 2003. Solly said the news may have surprised some people.

Scales Corp dropped 2.1 percent to $4.64 and Restaurant Brands New Zealand fell 2 percent to $7.84.

New Zealand Refining Co was down 1.6 percent to $2.49. Its hydrocracker unit has been shut down after a newly installed valve failed, lengthening delays from its scheduled refinery maintenance shutdown. The Whangarei-based company said it would give a further market update "once we have established the repair and restart plan."

Kathmandu was the best performer again, rising 2.1 percent to $2.86. Yesterday, the stock surged 12 percent to a three-and-a-half year high after the outdoor equipment retailer said it expects to increase profit this year on higher sales and better margins. 

Most electricity generator/retailers rose, with Mercury New Zealand up 1.7 percent to $3.385 and Meridian Energy rising 1 percent to $3.16, while Genesis Energy dipped 0.2 percent to $2.47.

"When investors become a bit wary about risk they tend to look at gentailers, and we're seeing reasonable hydrology," Solly said. 

Fletcher Bulding rose 1.6 percent to $7.10. Last week, the company announced the result of a strategic review which will see the company move to a decentralised operating model with more divisions, cutting annual overheads by $30 million.

"Another reasonably solid day, reflecting the market having confirmation on the profit range at the investor day," Solly said. "That has seen some people more comfortable with what was said, the strategy there."

(BusinessDesk)

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