Shutting the transtasman travel bubble for at least two months put the dampener on leisure stocks – but the New Zealand sharemarket again remained resilient to the latest Covid developments.
The S&P/NZX 50 Index was up 15.47 points or 0.12 per cent to 12,736.32, after reaching an intraday low of 12,690.05. The index picked up almost half a per cent for the week while neighbour Australia battled to control the fresh outbreaks of the Covid virus caused by the Delta variant.
There were 62 gainers and 68 decliners across the whole market, with 56.28 million shares worth $162.14 million changing hands.
Greg Smith, head of research with Fat Prophets, said closing the transtasman bubble was a blow to the tourism industry and it looked like the lockdowns in Australia could be extended.
"It could be months instead of weeks. It's a reminder that dealing with the Delta variant has changed the landscape. The markets have been pretty resilient, including New Zealand - that's because of the ongoing support for the central banks and the United States' earnings season has gone well.
"Mind you, the New Zealand Reserve Bank will likely raise its official cash rate next month and we've already seen some banks increased their lending rates. It will be interesting to see what happens to the consumer stocks if people start to pinch on their spending," Smith said.
Auckland International Airport fell 15c or 2.05 per cent to $7.15; Air New Zealand was down 2c to $1.505; SkyCity Entertainment lost 5c to $3.23; and Tourism Holdings declined 4c to $2.38.
Air New Zealand told the market the suspension was expected to have a short-term operational and financial impact on its business until such time the bubble reopens.
Covid beneficiary Fisher and Paykel Healthcare rose $1 or 3.16 per cent to $32.65; Spark gained 6c to $4.83; Sanford climbed 11c or 2.3 per cent to $4.89; and Turners Automotive was up 5c to $4.28.
Among the energy companies, Contact rose 11c to $8.37; Meridian was down 6.5c to $5.28; and Mercury fell 2c to $6.82.
Publisher and broadcaster NZME swept through the $1 mark after rising 5c or 5.21 per cent to a new two-year high of $1.01. Scott Technology was up 5c or 1.89 per cent to $2.70; ikeGPS rose 3c or 2.68 per cent to $1.15; and software company PaySauce gained 1c or 3.17 per cent to 32.5c.
There is still uncertainty about a2 Milk's recovery and it fell 17c or 2.33 per cent to $7.14. Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group told the market it had increased its stake in a2 Milk from 5.689 per cent to 6.745 per cent.
Retirement village operators Summerset Group Holdings shed 16c to $13.28; and Ryman Healthcare was down 7c to $13.02.
Pushpay Holdings lost 3c to $1.76; Briscoe Group decreased 5c to $5.70; and Cavalier declined 2c or 3.85 per cent to 50c.
Global property group Goodman has increased its shareholding in Goodman Property Trust from 21.76 per cent to 24.76 per cent, saying it has excellent investment opportunity. Goodman Property Trust declined 2c to $2.43.
ANZ Investments group increased its holding in Pacific Edge from 5.135 per cent to 6.175 per cent, and the Property for Industry stake from 7.257 per cent to 8.328 per cent. Pacific Edge gained 1c to $1.24, and Property for Industry was up 2c to $2.93.
My Food Bag Group gained 1c to $1.33 after announcing the appointment of Joanne Mitchell as its new chief customer officer. She has held senior marketing roles at Kraft Foods (in Britain), Charlie's Drinks, McDonald's Restaurants and most recently DB Heineken
Tilt Renewables will be delisted on August 3 after the High Court approved the takeover by Powering Australian Renewables, owning Tilt's Australian business, and Mercury NZ, taking the New Zealand assets. Tilt's last day of trading is July 27 and shareholders will be paid $8.035 a share on August 3, after receiving a 65c a share special dividend on July 30.