New Zealand shares hit a record, led higher by A2 Milk and Synlait Milk continuing to gain, though the market was mixed with blue-chips like Auckland Airport falling.
The S&P/NZX 50 Index rose 25 points, or 0.3 per cent, to a record 7,974.7. Within the index, 24 stocks fell, 14 rose and 12 were unchanged. Turnover was $145 million.
Synlait was the best performer, rising 7 per cent to $6.90, while A2 gained 5.7 per cent to $7.26, meaning both stocks hit fresh records today. The two stocks have gained since last Thursday - Synlait up 17 per cent, and A2 up 11 per cent - on confirmation that their brands and recipes have gained registration in China, removing an obstacle in a market with soaring sales, before both giving up gains yesterday. They have had strong years so far, rising 207 per cent and 110 per cent respectively.
"A2 is the stock that won't stop, it will be our largest listed company soon - it's got a market cap over $5 billion, which is pretty impressive for a company which was only worth a few million a few years ago," said Grant Williamson, investment advisor at Hamilton Hindin Greene. "It has made up a good chunk of the index's overall rise this year, it could be as much as a third, so that success has probably distorted the overall rise in the index. There are few signs of it slowing down at the moment, but when something has gone up as fast as A2 has, profit taking takes over at some stage, and it will be in for a pretty big correction when that happens."
Auckland Airport was the worst performer, down 2.6 per cent to $6.27. Shareholder Peter Wakemen is seeking support for three proposals to safeguard the company from possible future fuel supply disruption, to cut carbon emissions and to lobby the government to use so-called "debt-free money" to fund climate initiatives.
The board of directors said it does not support the proposals ahead of its annual general meeting on October 26 but is unanimously in favour of the re-election of two board members, the election of a new nominee and a slight increase in directors' remuneration.
Meridian Energy fell 1.7 per cent to $2.82 and Mercury NZ dropped 1.6 per cent to $3.355.
Outside the benchmark index, ERoad climbed 18.1 per cent to $2.68 after the company continued to gain traction in the US in the latest quarter ahead of the December deadline for logistics firms to adopt and use electronic logging devices.
The Auckland-based company sold 2,313 units in the US in the three months ended September 30, taking its total units in the US to 9,736. In its established Australian and New Zealand markets, sales rose 11 per cent to 49,802. The 7,086 units sold in the quarter was a new record for the company in both markets, and chief executive Steve Newman has previously said the 2018 financial year will likely post its biggest ever sales.
Williamson said investors have been re-rating the stock which has seen volatility over the past two years, but the latest two quarters have delivered positive results.