Travel and tourism stocks on the New Zealand sharemarket were battered after the latest Covid-19 developments put a stop, albeit temporary, to the transtasman travel bubble.
The market overall remained directionless and traded in a narrow range, with the S&P/NZX 50 Index slipping 22.34 points or 0.18 per cent to 12,603.75. There were 57 gainers and 81 decliners on light volume of 44.44 million share transactions worth $128.57 million.
Jeremy Sullivan, investment adviser with Hamilton Hindin Greene, said it was another quiet day and the market was just moving sideways.
"The central banks are dictating the state of the play and at present there are very few clues when they will lift interest rates," he said.
As the borders closed in Australia, Auckland International Airport fell 16c or 2.16 per cent to $7.255; Air New Zealand was down 4c or 2.54 per cent to $1.535; Serko shed 19c or 2.44 per cent to $7.61; and Tourism Holdings declined 8c or 3.08 per cent to $2.52. SkyCity Entertainment was down 5c to $3.38.
They were expecting an influx of Australian visitors during their school holiday break, but this was set back because of the latest Covid outbreaks in New South Wales.
Market leader Fisher and Paykel Healthcare, maker of respiratory devices, had another positive day, rising 53c to $31.88 on trade worth $15.68m.
Mainfreight was up $1.08 to $76.55; Precinct Properties collected 5c or 3.25 per cent to $1.59; and Summerset Group Holdings gained 10c to $13.20. But fellow retirement village operator Ryman Healthcare was down 10c to $13.15.
People are recycling out of the more expensive, premium retirement village stocks into the likes of Oceania Healthcare and Arvida, which have a lower premium to net tangible assets, said Sullivan.
Ebos Group fell 21c to $32.39; Port of Tauranga was down 13c or 1.84 per cent to $6.95, Napier Port decreased 7c or 2.03 per cent to $3.37; Infratil lost 9c to $7.54; Restaurant Brands declined 25c to $14.05; Gentrack slipped 6c or 2.88 per cent to $2.02; and Scott Technology shed 6c or 2.31 per cent to $2.54.
Recovery stock, a2 Milk, closed 9c down at $6.66 after reaching a morning high of $6.87, while Synlait slipped 6c to $3.67. Sullivan said a2 Milk seems to have stabilised around the $6.60 mark and investors will be looking for a business update from the company.
Fonterra has sold its two joint venture farms in China's Shandong province to Singapore-based AustAsia Investment Holdings. Fonterra will receive $88m from the deal, and the Fonterra Shareholders' Fund was down10c or 2.67 per cent to $3.65. The fund said it has retained a specialist corporate finance adviser to assist in considering the Fonterra capital restructure.
Steel & Tube Holdings gained 1c to $1.14 after telling the market it has secured a $7m contract to supply 2900 tonnes of reinforced steel to the new Hawke's Bay Harapaki wind farm, owned by Meridian Energy. Harapaki will be New Zealand's second-largest wind farm with 41 turbines generating 176 MW of renewable energy, enough to power over 70,000 average households.
Wellington Drive Technologies rose 1.3c or 15.85 per cent to 9.5c after upgrading its revenue and operating earnings forecasts because of strong customer demand. Wellington is estimating full-year revenue of US$45m-$50m ($63.6m-$70.7m), up from US$41m-$46m, and Ebitda of NZ$3.5m-$4.5m, up from NZ$2.5m-$3m.
Medical cannabis firm Cannasouth held its annual meeting, made an investor presentation and gained 1c or 2.13 per cent to 48c. Cannasouth told the shareholders that the first stage of its cultivation joint venture will produce $8m in annual revenue. Exports are expected to begin in early 2022.
Other gainers were telecommunications firm Vital, up 5c or 6.41 per cent to 83c; Evolve Education increasing 3c or 3.53 per cent to 88c; and Marlin Global trust picking up 5c or 3.27 per cent to $1.58.