Fisher and Paykel Healthcare sprung to life and reclaimed the mantle of the biggest market cap stock. Its 5 per cent plus price rise drove the New Zealand sharemarket back over the historical 13,000 points mark.
The S&P/NZX 50 Index, snapping a week of falls, climbed 145.14 points or 1.13 per cent to 13,026.45. There were 84 gainers and 53 decliners over the whole market on volume of 45.3 million share transactions worth $186.19 million.
Dan Stratful, investment adviser with Forsyth Barr, said "it's about time we had a positive day. Fisher and Paykel is a darling stock and with its price falling to the early $30s it became a good buying opportunity. It was only a matter of time before it got attention.
"The NZ dollar has come off, and the Covid numbers are still rampant in the US and UK – Fisher and Paykel would benefit from that."
Stratful said the electricity companies have been pulling the market down lately and investors had every reason to take profits in Contact and Meridian after their recent strong rise. "I would not discount the overseas exchange traded funds (ETFs) coming back and buying the energy stocks, particularly as their prices have fallen."
Medical devices manufacturer Fisher and Paykel Healthcare surged $1.81 or 5.68 per cent to $33.69 on trade worth $18.2m. Its market capitalisation reached $19.4 billion, clear of Meridian on $18.8b when its share price fell a further 8c to $7.36 after reaching an intraday low of $6.91. Meridian has now fallen just over $2 or more than 20 per cent since January 7 when the ETF buying reached its peak.
Contact Energy fell another 41c or 4.61 per cent to $8.48, while Mercury was up 23c or 3.51 per cent to $6.78, and Genesis Energy rose 9c or 2.45 per cent to $3.77 as the electricity merry go round continued.
The retailers, boosted by improved earnings, made further ground. Hallenstein Glasson rose 14c or 1.96 per cent to $7.28, Briscoe Group was up 18c or 3.4 per cent to $5.48, and The Warehouse Group increased 7c or 2.33 per cent to $3.07. Fast-food operator Restaurant Brands was up 32c or 2.81 per cent to $11.69.
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Auckland International Airport rose 17c or 2.34 per cent to $7.44; Mainfreight increased $1.79 or 2.7 per cent to $68.09; Ryman Healthcare climbed 50c or 3.39 per cent to $15.25; Summerset Group Holdings was up 16c to $12.10; Infratil gained 17c or 2.35 per cent to $7.39; and Chorus moved ahead 10.5c to $8.255. Another blue chip stock Port of Tauranga fell 18c or 2.34 per cent to $7.50.
Fletcher Building gained another 6c to $6.28; SkyCity Entertainment recovered 4c to $3.11; Scott Technology was up 8c or 3.49 per cent to $2.37; and Accordant (formerly called Allied Work Force) rose 7c or 5.26 per cent to $1.40.
Z Energy increased 5c to $3.11 after providing an upbeat third quarter update. Chief executive Mike Bennetts said "we continue to see increased retail volume compared with the previous year." Convenience store average weekly sales rose 5.9 per cent for the quarter, though jet and marine volume was down.
Eftpos provider Smartpay Holdings rose 9c or 10.11 per cent to 98c after reporting significant growth in its Australian business. Revenue for the December quarter grew 75 per cent and transacting terminals increased to 5775, from 4611 in the previous quarter. New Zealand revenue was up 2 per cent from the previous quarter.
Online personal lender Harmoney Corp had a welcome lift, rising 21c or 7.53 per cent to $3 after growing its loan book. In its first market trading update since listing in November, Harmoney exceeded its prospectus forecast for the six months ending December by 2 per cent after establishing total loans of $194m. This was based on 47 per cent growth in loan originations for the second quarter of the 2021 financial year compared with the first quarter.