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MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares snap six-day decline as retirement stocks claw back losses

Friday 12th April 2019

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New Zealand shares snapped a six-day decline, with retirement stocks clawing back some of their recent losses since Summerset Group's observation that a slowing property market had dented unit sales. 

The S&P/NZX 50 Index advanced 58.64 points, or 0.6 percent, to 9,766.6. Within the index, 29 stocks rose, 15 fell, and six were unchanged. Turnover was $122.4 million. 

Summerset climbed 3.3 percent to $5.71. The retirement village operator fell to a 14-month low after it last week said slower Auckland and Christchurch property markets had contributed to a decline in first-quarter unit sales. 

That negative tone spilled over to other retirement village operators, and they also regained some of their recent losses. Metlifecare increased 2.7 percent to $4.59 and Ryman Healthcare edged up 0.1 percent to $11.51. Arvida Group was unchanged at $1.31. 

"There's been a bounceback in retirement names after a fairly heavy week following on from Summerset's update," said James Lindsay, a portfolio manager at Nikko Asset Management.

Aged-care operator Oceania Healthcare - which is outside the benchmark index - provided an update to investors on its development plans, which seeks to deliver an average of 250 new residences every year. The shares were unchanged at $1. 

Lindsay said Oceania operates a different model to the retirement village operators although it has some components linked to the property market. Today's update offered some relief to investors.

Meridian Energy rose 2.8 percent to $4.08 on a volume of 1.1 million shares after its monthly operating metrics showed favourable rainfall for the South Island hydro operators. Contact Energy rose 0.6 percent on a volume of 1.9 million shares, while Mercury NZ increased 0.4 percent to $3.90. 

Genesis Energy led the market higher, up 3.3 percent at $3.14. 

Spark New Zealand was the most traded stock on a volume of 3.7 million shares. It fell 0.4 percent to $3.56. Goodman Property Trust increased 0.6 percent to $1.715 on 2.5 million units, more than four times its 90-day average of 587,000 units. 

Among other stocks trading on volumes of more than a million shares, Air New Zealand edged up 0.4 percent to $2.82, and Argosy Property was unchanged at $1.27. 

Synlait Milk posted the biggest decline, down 1.7 percent at $10.41 on a volume of 233,000 shares, twice its three-monthly average of 112,000. 

Infratil fell 0.7 percent to $4.21. Wellington International Airport, which is 66 percent-owned by Infratil, today withdrew its consent application for a runway extension and said it will lodge a new application early next year. Of the airport's five listed bonds, only its 4 percent notes maturing in 2024 traded today, at a yield of 3.17 percent, up from 3.15 percent. 

NZX fell 1 percent to $1. The stock market operator today accredited BNP Paribas's Australian branch as a depository participant. Separately the bourse operator was recognised as a designated offshore securities market by the US Securities Exchange Commission. 

Sky Network Television fell 0.8 percent to a record $1.23. The pay-TV operator cut the price of its 'Fan Pass' streaming sports service. 

(BusinessDesk)

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