The two leading stocks Fisher and Paykel Healthcare and a2 Milk changed gear, posted significant gains, and drove the New Zealand sharemarket to a new high after it recorded its seventh successive daily rise.
The S&P/NZX 50 Index swept past the 12,000 mark, closing with a gain of 219.76 points or 1.83 per cent to 12,235.92. It was the highest daily rise since August 17, and the index broke the previous record of 12,073.34 points set on February 21. The index reached an intraday high of 12,107.45 on that date.
There were 100 gainers and just 35 decliners over the whole market of 181 stocks, and trading was solid at 47 million shares worth $165.54 million.
A Donald Trump turnaround on the latest United States economic stimulus package, the rebound from Fisher and Paykel and a2 Milk, and another strong day for high-yielding local stocks, particularly energy, as interest rates keep falling all combined to push the NZX to a new peak.
The US president sent out a tweet saying he would support targeted economic stimulus bills directed towards households, airlines and small businesses, after earlier dismissing an overall relief package till after the election.
Jeremy Sullivan, investment adviser with Hamilton Hindin Greene, said the stimulus talks were worth 200 points on the New Zealand index.
"The US Federal Reserve indicated it was quite happy with inflation above 2 per cent and to keep printing money. The US is looking at a US$1.6-US$2.4 trillion stimulus – up to 23 per cent of gross domestic product – and that's some big numbers," Sullivan said.
Fisher and Paykel Healthcare had its own big figures, rising $1.14 or 3.42 per cent to $34.40 on trade worth $22m. Fisher and Paykel had bottomed out near $33 after falling from $37.68 on August 28. The a2 Milk Company was up 20c to $15.70 on trade worth $12.94m.
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Contact Energy, up 28c or 3.85 per cent to $7.55, and Meridian, rising 24c or 4.56 per cent to $5.50, both had powerful days, with more than $30.5m worth of their shares changing hands. Together with Fisher and Paykel and a2, they made up nearly 40 per cent of the trading on the local market.
Mercury Energy rose 14c or 2.68 per cent to $5.37, Spark gained 9c to $4.69, Pushpay Holdings was up 29c or 3.33 per cent to $8.99, Auckland International Airport climbed 6.5c to $7.60, and Synlait Milk increased 8c to $5.5.
Casino operator SkyCity benefitted from Auckland's return to Alert Level 1 by rising 14c or 4.77 per cent to $3.14. Cinema software company Vista Group was one of the day's biggest movers, climbing 14c or 9.66 per cent to $1.59.
Retirement village operator Summerset Group rose 15c or 3.83 to $9.30 on improved activity. Summerset sold a record 225 new and existing units in the September quarter. Previous quarter sales have averaged 163, and Summerset has bought a 2.8ha site near Half Moon Bay Marina to build its ninth retirement village in Auckland worth $300m.
The Warehouse Group reported an unaudited 32 per cent drop in net profit to $44.5m for the year ending August. The profit included $67.8m wage subsidies and if they weren't included the full-year loss would have been $4.3m. Revenue was $3.2 billion for the 53 weeks, up 3.3 per cent on the previous year of 52 weeks. The Warehouse is not paying a dividend, and its share price closed unchanged at $2.20 after earlier falling 9c.
Vital Healthcare Property Trust slipped 6.5c or 2.18 per cent to $2.915 after completing its $125m placement of new units, forming the major part of its $150m capital raising.
On an energised Wall Street overnight, the Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 530 points or 1.91 per cent to $28,303.46, the S&P 500 Index was up 1.74 per cent to 3419.44, and the Nasdaq Composite, which is up 24 per cent for the year, rose 1.88 per cent to 11,364.60.