Many of the large cap stocks were hit by profit-taking as the New Zealand sharemarket fell more than one per cent from its record high – its first drop in a fortnight.
The S&P/NZX 50 Index tumbled 159.06 points or 1.25 per cent to 12,605.96, reversing a strong morning when the index reached an intraday high of 12,831.33. There were 68 gainers and 71 decliners over the whole market on heavy trading of 51.9 million shares worth $232.2 million.
Greg Smith, head of research with Fat Prophets, said the market has been performing well at record highs after some good sessions with vaccine developments and profit-taking crept in.
"I think investors will re-focus on the potential re-opening of our border next year and the stocks that will benefit. Over the next few months, you may see a rotation from the growth stocks that have done well during the Covid crisis and into the value and re-opening shares," said Smith.
One of the market heavyweights, a2 Milk, held its annual meeting and talked about the uncertainty of forecasting the 2021 financial year because of the Covid volatility. It estimated first half revenue of $725-$775m and full year of $1.8-$1.9 billion and its share price fell 77c or 4.94 per cent to $14.82.
Smith said a lot of good news is baked into a2 Milk's share price and it has had a pretty good run. "It has increasing competition in China and it hasn't got its own way."
Fisher and Paykel Healthcare had another down day, falling 50c to $33.70; Pushpay Holdings declined 30c or 4.01 per cent to $7.19; Spark decreased 10c or 2.15 per cent to $4.55; Mercury slipped 10c to $5.90; Contact Energy was down 26 or 3.23 per cent to $7.78; and Fletcher Building slipped 17c or 3.04 per cent to $5.43.
In this topsy turvy market, Mainfreight went back to $60 after rising $1.46 or 2.49 per cent; Ebos Group gained 20c to $25.20; Synlait was up 7c to $5.61; and The Warehouse climbed 9c or 3.53 per cent to $2.64.
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Retirement village operators Summerset Group Holdings was down 12c to $10.58 and Ryman Healthcare decreased 16c to $15.82. Apple exporter Scales Corporation fell 12c or 2.44 per cent to $.80.
AFT Pharmaceuticals rose 18c or 3.42 per cent to $5.45 after announcing it was opening a European office in Ireland and had signed new licensing and distribution agreements for its Maxigesic products in Ireland, Thailand, Greece, Pakistan and Ecuador.
Napier Port announced a solid result in its first full-year of reporting since listing in August last year, but its share price fell 16c or 4.32 per cent to $3.54. The port's revenue increased 0.8 per cent to $100.4m and net profit rose from $6.8m to $22m, and it is doubling its final dividend to 5c a share, payable on December 18. Container volumes were down 1.1 per cent and bulk cargo fell 8.3 per cent.
Serko, a leader in online travel booking for businesses, got trimmed after reporting a 44 per cent fall in revenue to $8.53m from $15.21m and an increasing loss of $10.11m from $866,000 for the six months ending September. Serko's share price fell 19c or 3.39 per cent to $5.41, and the company said it will move more quickly on the opportunities arising from the changing travel market.
SkyCity Entertainment announced it is closing its Adelaide casino for at least six days because of a new Covid-19 cluster and further state restriction. The opening of the A$330m ($350) casino expansion will now be delayed, and SkyCity's share price fell 8c or 2.58 per cent to $3.02.