Market close: NZ sharemarket stages rally after disappointing month

The New Zealand sharemarket staged a much-needed rally with a rise of more than 1 per cent following a disappointing and nervy run through May.

The S&P/NZX 50 Index jumped 138.46 points or 1.14 per cent to 12,320.72 — its biggest rise for nearly a month.

There were 108 gainers and just 38 decliners on volume of 40.73 million share transactions worth $145.3m.

Jeremy Sullivan, investment advisor with Hamilton Hindin Greene, said there was a lot of green on the trading screen, and the feature was a broader market sentiment.

“People may be thinking that interest rates are not ticking up as quickly as anticipated and share prices will remain higher for longer,” he said.

Ebos Group, which distributes medical products to district health boards, reached a new high, rising 70c or 2.15 per cent to $33.20. Fellow health supplier Fisher and Paykel Healthcare was up 59cor 1.99 per cent to $29.81.

Port of Tauranga climbed 28c or 3.88 per cent to $7.49, Skellerup Holdings rose 14c or 3.09 per cent to $4.67; Freightways increased 26c or 2.25 per cent to $11.80; Restaurant Brands gained 24c or 1.79 per cent $13.66; and Briscoe Group was up 8c to $5.80.

Among the energy stocks, Contact was up 15c to $7.88, Meridian gained 8c to $5.23, Genesis Energy increased 7.5c to $3.44, and Trustpower picked up 9c to $8.51. Genesis and Methanex have agreed to a gas supply arrangement over winter that will support security of supply for the country’s electricity system.

The interest rate sensitive property companies had a strong day. Investore rose 4c or 2 per cent to $2.04; Argosy gained 3c or 2 per cent to $1.53; Precinct Properties was up 3c or 1.94 per cent to $1.58; and Kiwi Property increased 2.5c or 2.08 per cent to $1.225.

Utilities investor Infratil has completed the acquisition of Pacific Radiology, buying a 54.1 to 56.2 per cent stake for $313.6m. Infratil’s share price increased 12c to $7.63.

The a2 Milk Company slipped 2c to $5.86 amid reports that class action specialist Slater and Gordon Lawyers is looking into possible misleading or deceptive conduct concerning a2’s four downgrades in the past eight months and breaching Australia’s Corporations Act in relation to continuous disclosure rules. A2 said it’s not aware of any legal proceeding being filed.

Sullivan said the potential class action hasn’t really moved the stock. “Either it’s already been priced in or people don’t care. Things were moving fast around the downgrades, and it’s another headache the company doesn’t need.”

Synlait Milk, which said it is getting increased demand from China, increased its forecast base milk price for the 2020/21 season from $7.20 to $7.55 kgMS, and $8 for 2021/2 season. Its share price was down 3c to $3.

Two transtasman travel bubble beneficiaries are settling into their highest levels for a year. Casino operator SkyCity Entertainment was up another 3c to $3.61, and online travel provider Serko increased 12c or 1.74 per cent to $7.01.

Other gainers were Gentrack, up 7c or 3.48 per cent to $2.08; NZX increasing 6c or 2.91 per cent to $2.12; Marsden Maritime Holdings collecting 11c or 1; 86 per cent to $6.01; Scott Technology gaining 8c or 3.28 per cent to $2.52; Accordant Group rising 10c or 7.41 per cent to $1.45; and NZ Automotive Investments climbing 8c or 7.48 per cent to $1.15.

Cannabis firm Cannasouth showed some life, rising 4.5c or 10.71 per cent to 46.5c, and Just Life Group was up 4c or 4.4 per cent to 95c.

Third Age Health Services rose 11c or 5 per cent to $2.31 after reporting record revenue of $5.5m and net profit of $1.04m for the year ending March. It is paying a final dividend of 3.9c a share on June 18.

Me Today, which markets skincare products and supplements, is buying Terry Jarvis-owned King Honey with its 18,000 beehives for $36m, which includes raising $15.75m at 8.8c per share. Me Today reported $1.14m revenue and a loss of $2.86m for the year ending, and its share price rose 0.009c or 10.84 per cent to 9.2c.

Cancer diagnostics company Pacific Edge was up 3c to $1.19 after doubling its revenue to $10.43m and improving its loss from $18.88m to $14.22m for the year ending March. Pacific Edge had earlier told the market it was experiencing accelerated revenue growth particularly in the United States with an expanded sales team.

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