After three heady days, the New Zealand sharemarket took on a mood of uncertainty and had a small loss in a very choppy session.
The S&P/NZX 50 Index looked more like a seismic graph with trading bouncing up and down all day and unsure about which to go. The index closed down 28.91 points or 0.26 per cent at 11,112.16, after reaching an intraday high of 11,149.84.
The index had risen 3.5 per cent over the previous three days. It is now down 14.5 per cent so far this year and down 18 per cent from its all-time high in early January last year.
There were 77 gainers and 57 decliners over the whole market on light volume of 31.56 million share transactions worth $115.61 million.
Greg Main, Jarden Wealth Management adviser, said the local market had a bounce-back when bond yields dropped. But the yields have come back and the market is trading sideways.
The market was slowed by the publication of the latest US Federal Reserve minutes that showed the central bank is committed to bringing down entrenched inflation by raising interest rates to the point at which economic activity is restrained.
Main said the Federal Reserve was late to the monetary tightening party and the bank will likely raise rates between 50 and 75 basis points at the next two meetings.
The New Zealand Reserve Bank meets next Wednesday and the market is expecting another 50 basis points rise with the official cash rate reaching 2.5 per cent to combat inflation.
Main said investors were shifting from inflation dynamics to upcoming earnings with companies having a June balance date reporting soon in New Zealand and the United States.
"What will be interesting is how companies have fared with their inventories. During the pandemic they had trouble sourcing stock, so they ordered ahead and overstocked, and now there's been a slowdown in (consumer) demand," he said.
There were few big moves amongst the leading stocks – and AFT Pharmaceuticals stole the limelight.
It surged 30c or 8.45 per cent to $3.85 after telling the market it has launched a range of over-the-counter products in China on Alibaba's online Tmall Global platform through its partnership with RooLife Group.
The Kiwi Health Global Flagship Store was launched in 2020 with a trial range of AFT health supplements and following registration, AFT is now able to sell medicines to Chinese consumers through the online marketplace.
Transport technology company Eroad continued its recovery, rising 24c or 13.04 per cent to $2.08. It has risen 27.3 per cent over the last two days, after hitting a low of $1.42 on June 30.
The country's biggest port, Port of Tauranga, picked up another 15c or 2.28 per cent to $6.74 – its highest level this year.
Summerset Group Holdings was up 13c to $10.01; Serko increased 12c or 3.04 per cent to $4.07; Rakon rose 5c or 3.91 to $1.33; Scott Technology collected 6c or 2.07 per cent to $2.96; and a2 Milk gained 6c to $5.11.
Trade Window rose 10c or 11.36 per cent to 98c; Green Cross Health increased 3c or 2.34 per cent to $1.31; Radius Residential Care improved 2c or 5.71 per cent to 37c; Smartpay Holdings collected 2.5c or 3.85 per cent to 67.5c; and Plexure Group gained 0.008c or 4.3 per cent to 19.4c.
Amongst the property stocks, Investore gained 4c or 2.5 per cent to $1.64, and Stride increased 4c or 2.38 per cent to $1.72.
Amongst the energy stocks, Manawa gained 19c or 3.12 per cent to $6.28; Contact was down 13c to $7.30; and Meridian declined 7c to $4.70.
Auckland International Airport was down 18c or 2.39 per cent to $7.34; Fletcher Building declined 7c to $5.06; and Ventia Services Group shed 7c or 2.49 per cent to $2.74.
Retailers Briscoe Group decreased 15c or 2.63 per cent to $5.55, and Michael Hill International was down 3c or 2.48 per cent to $1.18.
Other decliners were Move Logistics down 3c or 2.63 per cent to $1.11; NZME decreasing 3c or 2.36 per cent to $1.24; and ikeGPS shedding 3c or 4.29 per cent to 67c.
Pushpay Holdings, unchanged at $1.28, has picked up the Catholic Archdiocese of Seattle as a customer, creating a market of 174 parishes and more than 600,000 people for its engagement technology platform.
Employment fintech company PaySauce continued its growth in the last quarter, with recurring revenue reaching $1.17m, 86 per increase year on year, and processing fees fetching $1.03m, up 72 per cent year on year. PaySauce has 6514 customers, up 24 per cent, and its share price gained 0.005c or 1.89 per cent to 27c.