Market close: Flat trading as investors await reporting season, OCR monetary policy statement

The New Zealand sharemarket had a flat trading day, and was kept interested by some strong corporate results coming out of Australia, particularly in the banking sector.

The S&P/NZX 50 Index fluctuated between 12,737.52 and 12,788.22 before closing at 12,748.07, down 16.15 points or 0.13 per cent for the day.

With stocks bouncing around without much apparent reason, there were 84 gainers and 54 decliners over the whole market on volume of 106.58 million shares worth $298.51 million.

The trading was boosted by re-balancing in three Smartshares exchange traded funds. A total of 29.75m Global Aggregate Bond units worth $39.59m changed hands; as well as 10.53m Global Bond units worth $34.48m and 10.29m NZ Bond units worth $32.35.

Jarden Wealth Management adviser Greg Main said the local market was quiet before the reporting season and was also waiting for next week’s Reserve Bank monetary policy statement.

Economists expect the official cash rate to be increased by at least 25 basis points, from 0.25 per cent.

Main said “we are treading water and just watching what the international markets are doing. People have also been wondering if anything will come out of the power situation, but the market doesn’t seem to be factoring in anything political.”

The dual-listed banks were boosted by a strong result from Commonwealth Bank, which announced a 20 per cent increase in full-year profit of A$8.65 billion ($9.06b) and is returning some of its excess capital to shareholders by buying back $6b worth of shares.

ANZ Banking Group rose 41c to $30.65; and Westpac Banking Corporation was up 25c to $27.06. ANZ, which is buying back shares on-market, announced the appointment of its group executive international Farhan Faruqui as its new chief financial officer.

Mercury Energy increased 16.5c or 2.45 per cent to $6.895; Genesis gained 7c or 2.11 per cent to $3.39; Mainfreight posted 69c to $85.19; Freightways was up 28c or 2.17 per cent to a new high of $13.19; Pushpay Holdings picked up 3c or 1.83 per cent to $1.67; and Ebos Group rose 45c to $32.14.

Main said Ebos has been a good performer over time, operating in sectors that benefit from lockdowns: pets and healthcare. “Investors are positioning themselves ahead of their result.” Ebos reports on August 18.

A relieved Port of Tauranga rose 21c or 3.03 per cent to $7.15 after the Rio De La Plata container ship sailed off to Malaysia with 11 of its crew onboard having contracted Covid-19, but 72 port workers ashore having tested negative to the virus. South Port New Zealand gained 13c to $8.33

Chorus rose 12c or 1.94 per cent to $6.29; Briscoe Group increased 13c or 2.08 per cent to $6.38; Comvita added 10c or 3.08 per cent to $$3.35; Michael Hill International picked up 4c or 4.71 per cent to 89c; and Air New Zealand was up 3c or 2.07 per cent to $1.48.

DGL Group rose 5c or 2.5 per cent to $2.05; Move Logistics collected 4c or 2.58 per cent to $1.59; and Enprise Group picked up another 15c or 7.14 per cent to $2.25.

The property companies had another good day. Vital Healthcare rose 6c or 1.92 per cent to $3.18; Precinct Properties was up 1.5c to $1.7655 – both are first off the block in the reporting season – Goodman Property Trust picked up 5c or 2 per cent to $2.545; Stride increased 3c to $2.53; and Property for Industry gained 2c to $2.93.

After a strong run, market leader Fisher and Paykel Healthcare fell $1.15 or 3.49 per cent to $31.80 on trade worth $20.6m; Auckland International Airport was down 14.5c or 1.98 per cent to $7.16; Synlait Milk shed 10c or 2.76 per cent to $3.52; Hallenstein Glasson decreased 7c to $6.94; The Warehouse Group declined 8c or 2.13 per cent to $3.67; and Serko shed 12c to $6.90.

Technology company ikeGPS has completed a A$18.3m share placement at A95c a share and will now undertake a share purchase plan for up to A$3m to existing shareholders.

Over the past two quarters ikeGPS has closed $11.5m worth of contracts compared with $93m for the 2021 financial year, and it has A$27m net cash. Its share price was unchanged at $1.11.

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