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NZ stocks lift on relief rally after US elections

Thursday 8th November 2018

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New Zealand shares rose as markets were relieved U midterm elections did not throw up any major political surprises. SkyCity Entertainment gained on the sale of its Darwin casino. 

The S&P/NZX 50 index rose 41.22 points, or 0.5 percent, to 8,896.01. Within the index, 20 stocks rose, eight were unchanged and 22 fell. Turnover was $107 million.

Wall Street’s main indexes rose more than 2 percent after the midterm elections, in which Democrats wrested control of the House of Representatives and Republicans retained the Senate.

"New Zealand has taken the lead from overseas. I don't think it was an unexpected outcome and it's the unexpected, the uncertainty that the market doesn't like," said Forsyth Barr broker Suzanne Kinnaird.

Investors may also have been cheered by news that the Reserve Bank is still planning on keeping rates on hold until December 2020 as it looks to jumpstart still tepid inflation. Low rates make equity markets more attractive. 

SkyCity rose 3.5 percent to $3.83 after it said it had agreed to sell its Darwin casino for A$188 million to US-based Delaware North as part of a plan to free up capital and focus on its more profitable Auckland and Adelaide operations. The sale price is about A$8 million above the book value of the asset, excluding neighbouring waterfront land at Little Mindil, which the company plans to sell separately.

SkyCity has not yet determined what it will do with the proceeds.

Synlait Milk lifted 3.6 percent to $8.70 while A2 Milk lifted 1.4 percent to $10.45. Kinnaird said both stocks were benefiting from the relief rally. Genesis Energy also lifted, gaining 2.2 percent at $2.53. 

TradeMe rose 2.5 percent to $5.02. Chief executive Jon Macdonald reiterated at the company's annual meeting that the business expects revenue growth of between 5 and 8 percent in the current financial year.

Units in the Fonterra Shareholders Fund were unchanged a $4.86. Earlier the Fonterra Shareholders Council lodged an independent financial analysis of the dairy giant at the annual general meeting of farmer-shareholders at Lichfield, in the Waikato. The analysis shows an "unambiguous" pattern of commercial under-performance during the past 17 years.

Kathmandu continued to slip, shedding 0.7 percent to $2.83. Fisher & Paykel Healthcare benefited from the improved sentiment, adding 1.5 percent to $14.02. 

Z Energy continued to claw back some of its losses, adding 1.1 percent to $5.60. 

Pushpay remained out of favor, falling 5.6 percent to $3.38. despite news it expects to break-even for the first time in December this year and to post its first earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, amortisation and currency adjustments in the year to March 31. 

Small cap e-commerce software seller SLI Systems added 5.3 percent to 60 cents after Texas software investor ESW Holdings improved its final offer. It will pay 65 cents, or $41.4 million, for SLI’s shares. That is 3 percent more than the minimum price the company indicated on Oct. 23.

Austin-based ESW has also raised its offer for most of the 74 tranches of options Christchurch-based SLI has issued since 2006. The final prices range from from 3 cents to 40 cents, up from 3 cents to 34 cents initially.

(BusinessDesk)

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