ZB

NZ sharemarket plunges 1.5% – biggest fall in a year

Author
NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Wed, 19 Jan 2022, 8:10pm
Market leader Fisher and Paykel Healthcare led the local market down, falling $1 or 3.18 per cent to $30.40. Photo / Supplied
Market leader Fisher and Paykel Healthcare led the local market down, falling $1 or 3.18 per cent to $30.40. Photo / Supplied

NZ sharemarket plunges 1.5% – biggest fall in a year

Author
NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Wed, 19 Jan 2022, 8:10pm

The New Zealand sharemarket had its biggest single-day fall in a year – down more than 1.5 per cent – following another sell-off on Wall Street. 

The prospect of multiple interest rate rises this year to combat inflation is gripping the markets, both here and overseas. 

The S&P/NZX 50 Index fell steadily all day, closing down 202.14 points or 1.58 per cent to 12,612.31. The top 10 stocks in the index fell 1.94 per cent. 

It was the largest one-day fall since January 11 last year when the index was down 1.98 per cent to 13,290.09 and coming off its all-time high of 13,558.19 set on January 8. 

There were 120 decliners and just 30 gainers over the whole market on another day of light trading, with 26.15 million shares worth $116.14 million changing hands. 

In the first 10 trading days this year turnover is down 40 per cent compared with the same period last year. Taking out the elevated trading in Contact and Meridian by the clean energy exchange traded funds last year, the volume is still down 24 per cent. 

"It shows how quiet the market has been, and it has been flatlining since the start of last year. The market will just have to wait for next month's latest company results and updates," said Matt Goodson, managing director of Salt Funds Management. 

He said the local market followed offshore leads and bond yields were rising thanks to inflation. The United States sell-off was widespread, suggesting money is being withdrawn from equities. 

The US 10 Year Treasury bond yield broke through the 1.8 per cent resistance level and closed at a post-pandemic peak of 1.883 per cent, up from 1.77 per cent at the weekend. 

Oil also hit a seven-year high at US$85.95 ($126.77) a barrel, fuelling further inflation fears. Inflation is running at 7 per cent in the US and 4.9 per cent here. ANZ Research has revised its forecast, saying the official cash rate in New Zealand will be "lifted in steady 25 basis points steps to a peak of 3 per cent by April 2023." 

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 1.51 per cent overnight to 35,368.47; S&P 500 declined 1.84 per cent to 4577.11; and the Nasdaq Composite was down 2.6 per cent to 14,506.9 points. 

Market leader Fisher and Paykel Healthcare led the local market down, falling $1 or 3.18 per cent to $30.40 on trade worth $21.85m, a fifth of the day's volume. 

EBOS Group declined 42c to $39.98; Mainfreight shed $2.10 or 2.31 per cent to $88.90; Contact Energy fell 20c or 2.48 per cent to $7.86; Meridian shed 6c to $4.61; Chorus was down 12c to $7.04; and Spark decreased 7.5c to $4.525. 

Another top 10 stock Auckland International Airport was down 15.5c or 2.02 per cent to $7.50; and Freightways fell 20c to $12.75. 

Retirement village operators Ryman Healthcare fell 35c or 2.95 per cent to $11.50; Summerset Group Holdings was down 27c or 2.05 per cent to $12.88; Oceania Healthcare shed 3c or 2.33 per cent to $1.26; and Arvida decreased 4c or 2.08 per cent to $1.88. 

Vulcan Steel dropped a further 14c to $9.75 and has now fallen from $11.01 on January 6. Rakon has also fallen heavily, down 17c or 8.59 per cent to $1.81 after reaching $2.22 on January 7. 

Pushpay Holdings was down 3c or 2.38 per cent to $1.23; Heartland Group Holdings declined 5c or 1.93 per cent to $2.54; Vista Group fell 9c or 3.96 per cent to $2.18; NZX decreased 6c or 3.3 per cent to $1.76; and Scott Technology lost 18c or 5.23 per cent to $3.26. 

Napier Port went under $3, falling 8c or 2.61 per cent to $2.98; Scales Corporation decreased 13c or 2.34 per cent to $5.43; DGL Group declined 7c or 2.28 per cent to $3; NZME was down 3c or 2.46 per cent to $1.19; and Green Cross Health shed 5c or 4.17 per cent to $1.15. 

Turners Automotive recovered 6c to $4.46; Delegat Group was up 20c to $14.30; Restaurant Brands gained 15c to $14.65; and ikeGPS rose 3c or 3.8 per cent to 82c. 

Dr Peter Meintjes, who moved from Boston to Dunedin, has started as chief executive of cancer diagnostics firm Pacific Edge, replacing David Darling. Pacific Edge's share price was down 3c or 2.34 per cent to $1.25. 

Seeka's shareholders have unanimously voted in favour of buying Gisborne kiwifruit packing business New Zealand Fruits Limited, and Seeka's share price was down 4c to $5.20. The purchase is expected to be completed early next month. 

Online personal lender Harmoney, up 2c to $1.84, has increased its group loan book 19 per cent to $557m during the half-year ending December, and it is cash profit. During that period, the Australian loan book grew 83 per cent or A$84m ($89m) to $A185m and New Zealand was flat compared with the previous corresponding period. 

- by Graham Skellern