The volatile New Zealand sharemarket gave up exactly the strong gains of the day before to close the week down more than 1 per cent – with blue chip stocks being hit.
The S&P/NZX 50 Index fell sharply after the Asian markets opened and traded softly, and finished at 12,594.52, down 134.32 points or 1.06 per cent.
During the morning the local index reached a high of 12,752, but it was all downhill from lunchtime and it finished the week with a fall of 0.76 per cent.
There were 55 gainers and 85 decliners over the whole market on volume of 2832 million share transactions worth $122.42 million.
The Hong Kong Hang Seng Index was down 2.31 per cent to 25,707.38 points; the Japan Nikkei 225 declined 1.81 per cent to 27,279.59; and the Shanghai Composite had shed 0.94 per cent to 3379.49 at 5.45pm NZ time.
Dan Stratful, investment adviser with Forsyth Barr, said the local market was trading quite well and then peeled off quite aggressively on the opening of the Asian markets.
"We are still getting caught up in the Chinese government regulation moves, with their education and technology stocks being hit. This has affected a2 Milk, providing more uncertainty for them. And there's fear that other local companies may get caught up in the crosshairs of the China regulation," Stratful said.
"One of the threats over-hanging the markets is the Covid Delta variant, with case numbers creeping up in the United States. Delta is a definite threat to the stability of good-performing markets."
The local star performer for the second day running was leading retirement village operator Ryman Healthcare, up 23c or 1.78 per cent to $13.18 after reporting record quarterly sales. It has risen nearly 6 per cent in two days.
Stratful said the market had been bearish on Ryman and the update was a positive surprise. It still has a long runway of growth ahead of them, and investors have rotated back from the other retirement village stocks.
Summerset Group Holdings was down 13c to $12.90; Arvida declined 6c or 2.83 per cent to $2.06; and Oceania Healthcare fell 4c or 2.61 per cent to $1.49.
Transport and logistics operator Mainfreight reached an intraday high of $84.95 after reminding shareholders at its annual meeting that the company has had 11 consecutive years of record results, with global sales now at $3.5 billion or $68 million a week. But Mainfreight fell in concert with the market, finishing down $1 to $82.
Well-placed cyclical stock Fletcher Building rose 8c to $7.64, fuelled by a broker upgrade from neutral to buy. Stratful said there's plenty of work out there for builders, cyclicals perform well in the early stages of economic recovery, and "I think Fletcher is heading towards $8 later this year".
Fisher and Paykel Healthcare fell 61c or 1.9 per cent to $31.55; Freightways slipped 14c to $12.80; Ebos Group shed 58c or 1.84 per cent to $31.02; Pushpay Holdings declined 4c or 2.3 per cent to $1.70; Infratil decreased 9c to $7.31; and a2 Milk was down 30c or 4.6 per cent to $6.22.
Global marketer a2 Milk said it has taken up its 75 per cent shareholding in Mataura Valley Milk, paying $268.5m from cash reserves.
Synlait Milk told the market it has arranged additional and temporary funding of $80m with its banking syndicate to cover seasonal working capital requirements. This will reduce from $330m over seven months to $250m next February. Synlait was down 3c to $3.73.
The energy companies Contact fell 21c or 2.51 per cent to $8.16; Meridian declined 11c or 2.06 per cent to $5.22; Mercury was down 7c to $6.61; Genesis decreased 4c to $3.43; and Vector gained 4c to $4.07.
Z Energy shed 5c to $2.95; wine exporter Delegat Group was down 24c to $13.60; SkyCity Entertainment fell 7c or 2.13 per cent to $3.22; and online personal lender Harmoney declined 11c or 4.82 to $2.17.
Technology investor Enprise Group continued its big fall, down 35c or 12.28 per cent to $2.50 after sitting at $4 on July 23 – a drop of more than 60 per cent in a week.
Among the gainers, Vista Group gained 5c or 2.19 per cent to $2.33; Sanford increased 9c or 1.84 per cent to $4.99; TIL Logistics climbed 9c or 6.21 per cent to $1.54; and Gentrack was up 4c or 1.92 per cent to $2.12.
NZ King Salmon Investments was unchanged at $1.40 after providing the market with a full-year operating earnings (ebitda) forecast of $8m-$10m, though most of it will be generated in the second half of the 2022 financial year. King Salmon said fish size has recovered and price increases have been implemented.