The resilient New Zealand sharemarket has risen more than 5 per cent in an impressive November after having another powerful day of trading.
The S&P/NZX Index has fallen on just five days during the bullish month. The leading index closed out November with a gain of 128.69 points or 1.02 per cent to a new high of 12,768.52.
Volume was the heaviest for the month, with 104.8 million shares worth an incredible $536.46 million changing hands, led by market heavyweight Fisher and Paykel Healthcare. There were 66 gainers and 74 decliners over the whole market.
The index opened November at 12,084.47, fell slightly on the first day and has then gone on an inexorable run of gains to reach new peaks. The previous record was set on November 17 at 12,765.03.
Greg Smith, head of research for Fat Prophets, said the optimism of new vaccines, the change to the Biden administration in the United States and the central banks playing ball with economic stimulus has fed through the markets, despite the rising Covid-19 cases and hospitalisation rates.
"The talk of a year-end Santa rally has come early in November, setting up an interesting next few weeks. There is a risk of a market correction – the risk has been heightened with markets globally reaching record highs – but a pull-back would be in the order of 5 per cent and 10 per cent max," Smith said.
"Our economy is doing better than people expected, including consumer spending, and the market will continue to be well supported."
Leading cap stocks Fisher and Paykel Healthcare, Mainfreight and Meridian drove the market higher. Fisher and Paykel surged $1.97 or 5.8 per cent to $35.92 on hefty trade worth $91m; Mainfreight roared through the $62 mark, rising $1.89 or 3.12 per cent to $62.39; and the index's second largest capitalised stock Meridian increased 25c or 4.05 per cent to $6.43.
Contact Energy gained 16c or 2.09 per cent to $7.80; a2 Milk increased 8c to $14.75; utilities investor Infratil rose 22.2c or 3.88 per cent to $5.95, Auckland International Airport climbed 125c to $7.78, and kiwifruit grower and packer Seeka gained 18c or 4.59 per cent to $4.10.
Interestingly, QEX Logistics – which exports to China along with a2 Milk – said its daigou business was struggling and consumers now preferred to buy milk powder products within China.
QEX reported a 30 per cent drop in revenue to $19.38m for the six months ending September and its loss was $5.8m, mainly because of the $4.3m worth of imported products that went missing, presumed stolen, from its warehouse in Shanghai. Its share price fell 3.5c or 8.64 per cent to 37c.
Synlait, 20 per cent owned by a2, fell 13c to or 2.34 per cent $5.43; Chorus was down 22c or 2.61per cent to $8.20; and The Colonial Motor Company had a rare drop, declining 18c or 2.05 per cent to $8.62.
Kathmandu Holdings group chief executive Xavier Simonet is stepping down in six months for a new job in the Australian public service, and its share price fell 8c or 6.15 per cent to $1.22.
Heartland Group Holdings rose 4c or 2.84 per cent to $1.45 after telling shareholders at the annual meeting its net profit for the four months ending October was $29.9m and heading for a full-year profit of $83m-$85m. The banking group said it was reviewing its structure and may create four divisions: New Zealand Banking, Motor Finance, FinTech and Australia reverse mortgages.
Allied Farmers, which is backing an upcoming new listing NZ Rural Land Company, rose 9.2 or 13.37 per cent to 78c.
Stride Property Group said its total annual dividend will be 9.91c a share and it is paying a second-quarter dividend of 1.9c a share on December 22. Stride's share price was unchanged at $2.22.
Other property stocks Precinct was down 2c to $1.72 and Argos slipped 1c to $1.49, Goodman Trust also lost 1c to $2.40 and Kiwi Property fell 4c or 3.25 per cent to $1.19.