The New Zealand sharemarket continued its meandering way with another small loss, while leading retirement village operator Ryman Healthcare bounces up and down.
The S&P/NZX 50 Index made another solid start in the morning but then petered out, closing down19.78 points or 0.18 per cent to 11,137.88 after reaching an intraday high of 11,177.34.
Trading was again relatively light with 38.47 million shares worth $131.06m changing hands, and there were 62 gainers and 75 decliners across the whole market of 188 stocks. The NZX has been boosted by the addition of leading Australian company Ampol.
Dan Stratful, investment adviser with Forsyth Barr, said the local market is continuing to trend lower, driven by inflation and the economic uncertainty – and the reporting season is the next thing.
"The likes of Infratil this week and Fisher and Paykel Healthcare and Mainfreight next week will be providing their latest annual results, which will be closely watched.
"For some stocks the Covid tail winds have provided a boost, but with Covid abating people will be paying more attention to how they benefit in normal trading conditions going forward," Straful said.
ANZ Research said the Reserve Bank will next week deliver another 50 basis points rise in the official cash rate (OCR) to 2 per cent. Inflation at 6.9 per cent is well beyond the pale and broad-based, while the OCR at 1.5 per cent is still stimulatory.
Stratful said the surprise will be if the OCR increase is only 25 basis points. The 50 basis points rise is well anticipated by the market.
Westpac Bank, up 19c to $27.11, is expecting house prices to fall another 10 per cent this year and then 5 per cent next year, having already fallen 5 per cent since November. This has provided uncertainty for the retirement village operators.
Ryman Healthcare, which reports on Friday, rebounded 38c or 4.39 per cent to $9.06 after falling 7.77 per cent the day before. It has now declined 38.5 per cent over the past 12 months. Fellow operator Arvida Group increased 5c or 3.29 per cent to $1.57.
Fisher and Paykel Healthcare was down 27c to $20.78; Delegat Group shed 23c or 1.81 per cent to $12.47; Fletcher Building declined 16c or 2.66 per cent to $5.85; Skellerup Holdings decreased 10c or 1.89 per cent to $5.20; and Pushpay Holdings fell 5c or 3.97 per cent to $1.2.
Travel and leisure stocks had a weak day as tourists head New Zealand's way. Auckland International Airport down 7c to $7.34; Air New Zealand declined 1.5c or 2.16 per cent to 68c; Serko decreased 10c or 2;.08 per cent to $4.70; Tourism Holdings fell 10c or 3.7 per cent to $2.60; and Vista Group shed 4c or 2.33 per cent to $1.68.
Other decliners were Napier Port down 6c or 2.08 per cent to $2.83; Hallenstein Glasson decreasing 15c or 2.78 per cent to $5.25; Investore shedding 4c or 2.6 per cent to $1.50; Steel & Tube falling 8c or 45.52 per cent to $1.37; and Gentrack down 9c or 5.81 per cent to $1.46.
Australian fuel distributor Ampol listed on the NZX with foreign exempt status following its takeover of Z Energy. It listed at $37.23 and there were just seven trades worth $1763.
In its Road Show presentation, Ampol said it is committed to investing $125m in New Zealand up to 2028, including future energy investment, and will begin a cadet and graduate programme initially creating 35 roles. Ampol now has 2350 sites on each side of the Tasman and supplies 25 billion litres of fuel a year.
Vital Healthcare Property Trust, up 2c to $2.93, has completed the retail bookbuild and has raised $200m from its 1 for 8.54 rights offer.
Race Strauss has resigned as a2 Milk's chief financial officer and is being replaced by David Muscat, currently with DIM Brands (formerly Hanes Europe Innerwear). The share price of a2 Milk was up 2c to $4.58. Sister company Synlait Milk gained 4c to $3.22.
DGL Group has found renewed support, rising 15c or 4.57 per cent to $3.43 and having reached a high of $4.50 nearly a month ago.
Other gainers were Contact Energy up 14c or 1.89 per cent to $87.55; Restaurant Brands improving 29c or 2.5 per cent to $11.91; Michael Hill International increasing 3c or 2.63 per cent to $1.17; Scott Technology rising 15c or 4.92 per cent to $3.20; Comvita collecting 6c or 1.89 per cent to $3.23; and Allied Farmers up 4c or 5 per cent to 84c.
Shareholders have voted in favour of SMW Group delisting from the NZX main board. SMW, which provides solutions for the mining, defence and other industries, was unchanged at 45c, and has fallen 68.76 per cent over the past 12 months.