Persistent selling in the blue chip stocks, Fisher and Paykel Healthcare and a2 Milk, has taken some of the heat out of the New Zealand sharemarket, which closed the week more than 1 per cent down after a late dive.
The S&P/NZX 50 finished at 11,633.52, a fall of 143.61 points or 1.22 per cent on trade of 152.37 million worth $441.24 million. Half the fall was credited in the last hour of busy trading. There were 55 gainers and 85 decliners over the whole market.
Jeremy Sullivan, investment adviser with Hamilton Hindin Greene, said "the unwinding" of Covid trades in the blue chips had continued. Fisher and Paykel and a2 had reasonable reductions and that affected the market.
"Investors are quite worried, in a2's case, about China trade sanctions and, in Fisher and Paykel's case, the potential of a vaccine roll-out – and they are taking some profit off the table," Sullivan said.
Fisher and Paykel fell 20c to $32.25 on trade worth $52.6m, after not long ago reaching $37.68.
At the same time, a2 Milk has fallen from $21.50 in mid-August to $17.70, down 18c at the close of trading.
Other leading market cap stocks to fall were Ryman Healthcare, down 40c to $13.60 with $13m worth of shares changing hands; Spark down 11.5c or 2.45 per cent to $4.57 on trade worth $29.7m; and Mainfreight losing 40c to $45.90.
Utilities investor Infratil gained 7c to $4.97, and fishing company Sanford surged 20c or 3.59 per cent to $5.77.
Sanford was the subject of two substantial shareholding notices – Masfen Securities increased its stake to 6.3 per cent, and Tasman Equity and Arden Capital to 7.1 per cent. Tasman has bought 2.68m shares on-market during the past four months at prices between $6.50 and $5.50 a share.
Auckland International Airport, which has joined the S&P/ASX 200, fell 18c or 2.53 per cent to $6.93. It earlier reported that passenger volumes worsened in August: passenger numbers were down 85 per cent, and domestic fell 71 per cent compared with the same month last year.
Tourism Holdings climbed 21c or 9.812 per cent to $2.35 after reporting a better-than-expected full-year result. The company reached $400.93m in revenue for the year ending June, down 5 per cent from the previous $423m and its profit slipped 8 per cent to $27.35m.
Tourism Holdings is not paying a final dividend but its United States vehicle sales business achieved 68 per cent revenue growth in the last four months of the financial year compared with the previous period.
SkyCity is spending $35m upgrading its Auckland casino including opening a new and bigger VIP gaming area, and its share price fell 11c or 3.72 per cent to $2.85.
In the United States, the leading indices lost ground as investors became nervous over the economic outlook. Latest figures showed weakness in the labour market, and Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said the economic outlook was "highly uncertain". The central bank is keeping interest rates near zero through to 2023.
The Dow Jones Industrial fell 0.47 per cent to 27,901.98 points, the S&P 500 was down 0.84 per cent to 3357.01 and the Nasdaq Composite had the biggest fall, down 1.27 per cent to 10,910.28.
The latest technology listing Snowflake, providing a cloud-base data warehouse and backed by Warren Buffet, fell 10.39 per cent to US$227.54 ($335.66), after debuting at US$253.93, double its IPO offer. Buffet's Berkshire Hathaway grabbed US$250m worth of shares.