NZ markets resilient to earthquakes says expert

New Zealand's markets are equipped to deal with earthquakes and are holding up well says a top fund manager.

Shane Solly, director of Harbour Asset Investment Management, says the country is in good order this morning following last night's 7.5 magnitude earthquake.

"People are upset but we are holding up pretty well," he said.

"The country is equipped to deal with these events. We have a strong government position in place for earthquakes and the business community has learnt a lot from Canterbury. We are fiscally resilient in the face of natural disasters."

Tower Insurance is the most demonstrable loser this morning, down 9.4 per cent, but property assets are in reasonably good order across the country.

WATCH: Damage in Wellington after the overnight earthquake

Video

The biggest problem now is the threat of aftershocks, said Solly. "Disruption slows businesses down, so aftershocks are a worry."

"Touch wood, we are continuing on."

Construction company Fletcher Building was among the stocks to gain, rising 2.5 per cent to $10.38 with the firm likely to be a beneficiary from any extra work that comes from damage caused by the quake, and also from extra export revenue achieved from a weaker currency.

"Overall I expected a softer open to the market - maybe a lot of investors, with very little volumes going through, maybe too concerned about other things to be worried about their share portfolios," said Grant Williamson, a director at Hamilton Hindin Greene in Christchurch.

"Fletcher Building will be a benefactor of whatever needs to be repaired and fixed."

Logistics and tourism could take a hit in the aftermath of the quake, with ports experiencing disruption and overseas visitors potentially putting off their trips here.

The kiwi dollar fell when the New Zealand market opened, and recently traded at 71.29 US cents, but that follows the trend of decline since the US election, Solly said.

- With Businessdesk

- NZ Herald

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