Vista leads sharemarket higher, ending an unsettled week

NZX advanced 2.8 per cent to $1.11, the highest it's traded since June 2015. Photo / 123RF
NZX advanced 2.8 per cent to $1.11, the highest it's traded since June 2015. Photo / 123RF

New Zealand shares rose, led by Vista Group International and NZX at an 18-month high, while Fisher & Paykel Healthcare dropped after US President Donald Trump said he planned to impose a Mexican tariff.

The S&P/NZX 50 index gained 20.94 points, or 0.3 per cent, to 7134.26. Within the index, 31 stocks rose, 12 fell and seven were unchanged. Turnover was $82.7 million.

"It's still pretty low volume. It'll start to pick up next week with earnings season coming into full force and we'll have sales updates from a few of the retailers coming through," said Grant Davies, investment adviser at Hamilton Hindin Greene.

Vista led the index, up 3.1 per cent to $5.60, while Restaurant Brands New Zealand gained 2.9 per cent to $5.63.

NZX advanced 2.8 per cent to $1.11, the highest it's traded since June 2015. Davies said the stock had a strong week, up 4.7 per cent, and had benefited from a buoyant market this week.

The NZX 50 index has gained 0.7 per cent over the course of the week.

F&P Healthcare was the worst performer, down 3.1 per cent to $8.87. "That's another Trump sell-off. With its Mexico production facility, the tariff situation Trump's talking about could have a bit of an impact, although it's really just back to where it was at the start of this week - no reason to panic," Davies said.

Contact Energy dropped 3 per cent to $4.85, Trustpower fell 1.3 per cent to $4.70 and Stride Property declined 1.1 per cent to $1.77.

Comvita rose 0.7 per cent to $7.25. The shares plunged 17 per cent on Monday after the manuka honey products producer warned annual earnings would tumble by about two-thirds to between $5 million and $7 million due to bad weather limiting its honey harvest and slow sales via China's informal trading channels. It was trading at $7.83 prior to the earnings announcement.

"It was a bit of a yo-yo week. We've seen a few analyst downgrades this week - most of the analysts are still fairly bullish around $9 to $10 a share. Perhaps some are seeing it as an opportunity to get into a long-term growth story," Davies said. "It was maybe an overreaction Monday and clearly a recovery into the end of the week."

Outside the benchmark index, NZME dropped 1.5 per cent to 68c. The company, along with Fairfax New Zealand, talked up its credentials as a locally listed company that pays tax in its latest efforts to win merger approval from the Commerce Commission. The news organisations said a merger would let them build a "real opportunity" to compete with the likes of online ad giants Google and Facebook.

- BusinessDesk

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