Ryman Healthcare had a new lease of life, rising nearly 6 per cent, while a cautious New Zealand sharemarket couldn’t hold on to hard-earned gains.
The cautious S&P/NZX 50 Index traded steadily till a mid-afternoon fall to close at 11,932.92, down 15.8 points or 0.13 per cent after reaching a morning high of 11,998.02.
There were 70 gainers and 61 decliners over the whole market on volume of 29.5 million share transactions worth $110.55 million.
Matt Goodson, managing director of Salt Funds Management, said the market was starting to see more activity as people returned from holiday - and it was held back by Fisher and Paykel Healthcare and Ebos being flat.
“There was a large line of more than one million Ryman shares cleared on the market and the stock bounced after that.”
He said there was an element of cautiousness ahead of the December consumer price index release. “It’s quite an important day as the latest inflation number will dictate the monetary policy path taken by the Reserve Bank.”
The United States markets rebounded overnight on growing optimism that the Federal Reserve will begin slowing the pace of interest rate hikes, with recent economic data showing inflation is moderating.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.76 per cent to 33,629.56 points; S&P 500 increased 1.19 per cent to 4019.81; and Nasdaq Composite was up 2.01 per cent to 11,364.41, having risen 8.58 per cent so far this year.
The Australian market continues to hum along, with the S&P/ASX 200 Index increasing 0.45 per cent to 7491.2 points at 6pm NZ time and reaching a 100-day high. The index, rising 6 per cent so far, has had its second-best start to a year in three decades.
At home, Ryman Healthcare – the country’s biggest retirement village operator - rose 33c or 5.72 per cent to $6.10 with 2.67 million shares worth $16.2m changing hands. Ryman has fallen more than 43 per cent over the past 12 months and is well off its peak of $15.80 achieved in early September 2021.
Goodson said investors are still concerned about Ryman’s balance sheet and the level of its debt against the background of a difficult resale and housing market.
Fellow retirement stocks Summerset Group was up 19c or 1.96 per cent to $9.89, and Arvida gained 2c or 1.79 per cent to $1.14.
Fisher and Paykel Healthcare was down 14c to $25.20 on trade worth $23.1m, and Ebos Group declined 69c to $45.03.
Goodson said investors were weighing up against valuation whether Fisher and Paykel’s positive trading update, with increased sales in China, was repeatable or just a one-off.
“Ebos’ share price has been skittish lately, but it’s becoming more likely that it will be included in the MSCI World Index, to be known on February 10,” he said.
Serko rose a further 15c or 6.67 per cent to $2.40 after its positive trading update; Mainfreight gained $1.35 or 1.91 per cent to $72; Gentrack climbed 17c or 6.3 per cent to $2.87; and Vector was up 9c or 2.09 per cent to $4.40.
Delegat Group added 12c to $10.20; Vulcan Steel gained 10c to $9.95; PGG Wrightson increased 6c to $4.45; Cooks Coffee improved 1.5c or 3.95 per cent to 39.5c; Green Cross Health collected 3c or 2.29 per cent to $1.34; and Property for Industry added 3.5c to $2.30.
Kiwi Property was up 0.005c to 92.5c after telling the market its shopping centres achieved a record $1.7b sales last year, an increase of 26 per cent on pre-Covid 2019. There were 25 million customer visits to Auckland’s Sylvia Park and LynnMall and The Base in Hamilton, spending $200m in December alone.
AFT Pharmaceuticals, increasing 9c or 2.43 per cent to $3.80, has signed an agreement with Slovenia’s Salus Pharmaceuticals to distribute the Maxigesic intravenous pain relief in nine Eastern European countries.
Auckland International Airport was down 4c to $8.41 after telling the market that passenger volumes had reached 75 per cent of pre-Covid levels, with 1.33 million in November and 1.49 million in December.
Recruitment company Accordant Group declined 7c or 3.95 per cent to $1.70 after announcing the purchase of Auckland executive search firm Hobson Leavy, expected to grow annual operating revenue (ebitda) by more than $2m.
Other decliners were a2 Milk giving up 8c to $7.33; Briscoe Group down 8c to $4.60; KMD Brands decreasing 2c or 1.85 per cent to $1.06; NZ Oil & Gas shedding 2c or 4.55 per cent to 42c; Smartpay losing 4.5c or 3.21 per cent to $1.36; and MHM Automation falling 4c or 4.55 per cent to 84c.
TradeWindow, unchanged at 43c, has now received approval to issue certificates of origin to the Australian market under two trade agreements – Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, and Asean-Australia-New Zealand.
Auckland Real Estate, unchanged at 93c, plans to delist from the NZX and ASX exchanges by mid-April to save costs and will continue as an unlisted trust.