Market close: NZ shares end the week strongly

Two familiar names Fisher and Paykel Healthcare and a2 Milk pushed the New Zealand sharemarket to a strong close for the week – and rising United States inflation failed to put a dent on trading.

The S&P/NZX 50 Index increased 32.37 points or 0.26 per cent to 12,550.39. There were 75 gainers and 60 decliners over the whole market on volume of 39.63 million share transactions worth $163.64 million.

Inflation in the US jumped to its highest level since August 2008, with the consumer prices index rising at an annual rate of 5 per cent in May, up from 4.2 per cent in April. But the US 10-year Treasury bond yield fell from an opening 1.49 per cent to 1.43 per cent, though it did reach 1.53 per cent during the day. The yield has now fallen from a high of 1.74 per cent.

Matt Goodson, managing director of Salt Funds Management, said the inflation figure was surprisingly large – it was expected to be 4.6 per cent – but at present investors believe it is transitory rather than permanent.

“Whether this remains the case, we’ll see. If central banks tighten their monetary policy, then this will have significant implications for markets,” he said. “The historically loose policy settings are a bullish combination in the short term.”

Goodson said the technology and interest rate-sensitive stocks did well overnight (on Wall Street), but this didn’t really carry into the New Zealand market.

Instead, Fisher and Paykel Healthcare powered the market, rising 62c or 2.12 per cent to $29.92 on trade worth $27.7m. A recovering a2 Milk gained 16c or 2.68 per cent to $6.13, and Ebos Group was up 37c to $33.11. Synlait Milk was down 15c or 4.27 per cent to $3.36.

Freightways increased 20c to $12.10; Contact Energy was up 14c to $8.39; Spark gained 7c to $4.82; Skellerup Holdings picked up 15c or 3.3 per cent to $4.70; Napier Port rose 9c or 2.63 per cent to $3.51; and Turners Automotive climbed another 9c or 2.07 per cent to $4.43.

It was another up and down day for the retirement village operators. Summerset Group Holdings rose 28c or 2.22 per cent to $12.88, Arvida was up 2c to $1.83, while Ryman Healthcare fell 16c to $13.02, and Oceania Healthcare slipped 1c to $1.46.

Other gainers were Vista Group, up 6c or 2.67 per cent to $2.31; PGG Wrightson gaining 7c or 2.12 per cent to $2.37; Enprise Group increasing 6c or 2.91 per cent to $2.12; Scott Technology climbing 12c or 4.84 per cent to $2.60; and Cavalier picking up 1.5c or 3.7 per cent to 42c.

Auckland International Airport fell 15c or 1.95 per cent to $7.54; Fletcher Building was down 6c to $7.82; Infratil declined 22c or 2.83 per cent to $7.55; Mercury Energy decreased 16c or 2.47 per cent to $6.32; and Sanford lost 8c to $4.90.

Newly-listed chemicals company DGL Group was down 6c or 4.38 per cent to $1.31, and Rakon fell 4c or 4.3 per cent to 89c.

Interest rate-sensitive property companies Property for Industry fell 4c to $2.85; Argosy was down 2.5c to $1.54; Investore declined 2c to $2.05; and Goodman Property Trust decreased 1.5c to $2.295.

SkyCity Entertainment Group put on 5c to $3.60 after significantly increasing its earnings forecast for the year ending June because of better-than-expected trading at its casinos. It will pay a final dividend in September.

SkyCity told the market its normalised operating earnings (ebitda) would be $247m-$253m, up from $200.7m in the previous year, and net profit would be $84m-$88m, up from $66.3m. But due to the uncertainty over the timing of the NZ International Convention Centre/Horizon Hotel reinstatement and possible accounting adjustments, the company couldn’t provide guidance for statutory results.

Tower downgraded its net profit guidance to $22m-$24m, from $25m-$27m, for the second time in a month after receiving 164 claims amounting to about $3m following the Canterbury floods. Tower’s share price edged ahead 0.005c to 73c.

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