NZ shares mixed after Fed result

By Sophie Boot

Photo / File
Photo / File

New Zealand shares were mixed after the US Federal Reserve followed expectations, with Vista Group Entertainment and Auckland International Airport gaining while Sky Network Television and Ebos Group dropped.

The S&P/NZX50 Index rose 20.68 points, or 0.3 per cent, to 7,151.98. Within the index, 31 stocks dropped, 18 rose and one was unchanged. Turnover was $128.2 million.

Overnight, the US Federal Reserve raised its key interest rate, as had been widely expected, and reiterated that further increases will follow a gradual path.

"We've seen some of these interest-rate sensitive sectors under pressure recently, a sharp sell-off in bond yields globally, but that reverted a bit today," said Craig Stent, director and research analyst at Harbour Asset Management. "The Fed moving is probably the biggest news of the day, their outlook statement is more dovish, they're not going to raise rates at a rapid level unless the data comes through strongly so I guess that's an optimal period for equities - it's gradual, growth is still coming through no scaring the horses."

"Yield-sensitive stocks are having a bit of a rally today, the listed property sector - which is down about 6 per cent over the last two weeks - is having a better day, and stocks like Contact and Genesis as well," Stent said.

Retirement village operator Summerset Group Holdings gained 1.8 per cent, while Precinct Properties New Zealand gained 0.9 per cent to $1.155. Meridian Energy rose 1.1 per cent to $2.79 and Contact Energy advanced 0.6 per cent to $4.91.

Vista Group was the best performer, up 3.6 per cent to $5.80, while Auckland International Airport rose 2.5 per cent to $7.

Sky Network Television was the worst performer, down 2.7 per cent to $3.59, while Ebos Group dropped 2 per cent to $18.20 and Skycity Entertainment Group declined 1.9 per cent to $4.09.

Goodman Property Trust dipped 0.4 per cent to $1.17. The NZX-listed commercial and industrial property investor sold commercial buildings and associated development land in Christchurch to a local investor for $14 million.

Outside the benchmark index, Windflow Technology was unchanged at 1 cent. The unprofitable wind turbine manufacturer widened its first-half loss and said it needs new injections of capital. The Christchurch-based company reported a loss of $1.5m in the six months ended December 31, compared to a loss of $798,000 a year earlier, it said in a statement. Operating revenue rose to $2.9m from $953,000, while cost of sales jumped to $2.2m from $173,000.

- BusinessDesk

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