With all the ups and downs this year, the New Zealand sharemarket had an unusual day – it lacked volatility and Fisher and Paykel Healthcare's freefall came to an end.
The S&P/NZX 50 Index finished flat, being 9.94 points or 0.08 per cent ahead at 11,919.67 after reaching an intraday high of 11,974.98.
There were 84 gainers and 52 decliners over the whole market on a volume of 40.94 million share transactions worth $162.95 million. But price movements across the board were subdued.
Fisher and Paykel Healthcare again dominated the trading, but the buyers were back pushing the share price up 32c to $23.80 on trade worth $28m, after hitting an intraday high of $24.29.
Matt Goodson, managing director of Salt Funds Management, said there was a reverse across the New Zealand and Australian markets – the growth stocks did better while the commodity stocks were treading water.
"We are starting to see some support for Fisher and Paykel as people get their head around when its hospital division will start cranking up orders for consumables – the respiratory machines are sitting in the hospitals and the company makes money when the consumables are in use," Goodson said.
He said the move by New Zealand Super Fund to jointly investigate the potential for producing large-scale offshore wind energy in the South Taranaki Bight caught the market's attention but had a subdued reaction. "The costs would be rather high compared with other options in the market."
The Super Fund is joining Danish investment firm Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners to complete a feasibility study – a one gigawatt development off the coast of Taranaki would represent more than 11 per cent of New Zealand's electricity demands and power more than 650,000 homes.
Leading energy stocks Contact was up 5c to $7.86, Mercury gained 3.5c to $5.835, while Meridian was unchanged at $4.99.
Australasian infrastructure management and maintenance provider Ventia Services Group was one of the day's biggest movers, rising 12c or 4.8 per cent to $2.62.
EBOS Group improved 38c to $40.38; Restaurant Brands was up 12c to $14.10; a2 Milk gained 6c to $5.81; EROAD increased 12c or 3.07 per cent to $4.03; Vulcan Steel collected 18c or 1.99 per cent to $9.23; and Steel & Tube rose 5c or 3.33 per cent to $1.55.
Among the retailers, Briscoe Group was down 12c or 2.04 per cent to $5.77; Hallenstein Glasson increased 10c to $6.59; and Michael Hill International was up 3c or 2.38 per cent to $1.29.
Accordant Group increased 10c or 5.13 per cent to $2.05; Pacific Edge gained 2c or 2.22 per cent to 93; Smartpay Holdings increased 2.5c or 3.7 per cent to 70c; and South Port New Zealand rose 24c or 2.74 per cent to $9.
As the border reopens Millennium & Copthorne Hotels New Zealand is having a good revival, rising 8c or 3.24 per cent to $2.55 after sitting at $2.21 on March 10.
Auckland International Airport fell a further 13c to $7.65; Mainfreight was down 90c to $81.60; Spark declined 5c to $4.57; and Synlait Milk shed 11c or 3.31 to $3.21.
Online personal lender Harmoney was down 3c or 2.03 per cent to $1.45; and Chatham Rock Phosphate shed 1.5c or 5.88 per cent to 24c after a recent run.
New Zealand Oil and Gas was up 1c or 1.85 per cent to 55c after it told the market that its subsidiary Cue Energy has more resources in the Indonesian Mahato oil field – Cue has a 12.5 per cent participating interest. Cue increased the estimate of its oil reserves by 322 per cent to 1.4m barrels. The stake provided $6.5m revenue in the first half of the 2022 financial year in a lower oil price environment.
Booster Innovation Fund increased 1.8c to $1.254 after adding life and health insurance data specialist Montoux to its portfolio and making a $500,000 cash investment. Montoux, an early stage company, provides an automated actuarial platform for life and health insurers.
Marsden Maritime Holdings, which operates Northport near Whangarei, has appointed Rosie Mercer, who spent nine years at Ports of Auckland, as the new chief executive. She takes up her role on July 1, and Marsden's share price was unchanged at $6.
Turners Automotive is paying a third quarter dividend of 6c a share on April 20, and its share price was unchanged at $4.12.
NZME is beginning its $30m buy-back, representing 11 per cent of the issued share capital, on April 4. Its share price slipped 1c to $1.62.