Neither cyber attacks nor the Covid disruption could stop this. Against all odds, the New Zealand sharemarket hit a new all-time high with a late burst of trading in another shortened day.
The S&P/NZX 50 finished a dramatic day at 12,093.52, up 40.09 points or 0.33 per cent, and cruised past the previous record of 12,073.34 set on February 21 this year.
The historic afternoon saw 73.9 million shares worth $278.38 million traded, and there were 68 gainers and 70 decliners over the whole market.
When the New Zealand stock exchange finally opened for trading at 1pm following the latest cyber attack, the Australian market had taken a dive and this seemingly set the tone for the S&P/NZX 50 Index.
By 2pm the index had fallen to an intraday low of 11,994.38 points, but in the final hour of trading it surged into positive territory while the S&P/ASX 200 was still lagging. The NZX index closed the extraordinary week 20 points above the previous high.
The market was powered by the biggest cap stock, Fisher and Paykel Healthcare, up 69c or 1.87 per cent to $37.68; Auckland International Airport, a gain of 18c or 2.76 per cent to $6.90; and Mainfreight, climbing $1.04 or 2.19 per cent to $48.54. Between them, more than $50m worth of their shares changed hands.
Fletcher Building rose 14c or 4.13 per cent to $3.53 and Ebos was up 58c or 2.58per cent to $23.10.
When the index hit a low of 8498.70 points on March 23, just before the nationwide Covid lockdown, few if any would have foreseen it reaching new heights within five months as economic uncertainty became the new normal.
While businesses closed, job losses mounted, and the government kept pumping in new financial support, the sharemarket was unshaken, rising an unexpected 37 per cent.
It was fuelled by the low interest rates and a rush of new investors – online trading platform Sharesies took on 95,000 extra customers during the lockdown – looking to place their money elsewhere than in the low deposit rates of the banks.
The sharemarket's recovery has been remarkable. It's not that every stock has climbed. In fact, only 14 of the top 50 companies on the index have so far raised their glasses to an increase in their share price this year.
They are: Fisher and Paykel Healthcare, rising from $22.20 to $37.68; a2 Milk up from $15.10 to $19.30; Chorus, Goodman Property Trust, Investore Property, Mercury, Mainfreight, Meridian, NZX, Property for Industry, Pushpay Holdings, Spark, Vector and Vital Healthcare.
Today, Port of Tauranga and a2 Milk - two others among the top 10 in market capitalisation - had significant falls. Port of Tauranga was down 12c or 1.59 per cent to $7.45 despite reporting a steady full-year financial result, and a2 Milk lost 81c or 4.03 per cent to $19.30 on trade worth $27.38m.
Port of Tauranga's revenue was down 3.6 per cent to $301.98m and net profit slipped 10.5 per cent to $90.02m. Total trade was 24.8 million tonnes compared with 26.9 million tonnes in the previous year, but container volumes continue to grow, up 1.5 per cent to 1.25m TEUs (20-foot equivalent units). Port of Tauranga is paying a final dividend of 6.4c a share on October 1.
Fellow port company Southport rose 10c to $6.30 after reporting a 1.34 per cent increase in revenue to $44.57 and a 3.60 per cent decrease in net profit to $9.43m. It is paying a final dividend of 18.5c a share on November 10.
Southport said a third of its cargo comes from the Tiwai Point aluminium smelter and makes up 18-20 per cent of its profit. The smelter is closing in August next year and Southport estimates a 2 per cent fall in earnings in the 2021 financial year.
Delegat Group, New Zealand's fourth-largest wine company, achieved record global cases of 3.27m, up 9 per cent, for the year ending June. Revenue increased 9 per cent to $302.9m and net profit climbed 20 per cent to $60.8m.
Delegat is paying a final dividend of 17c a share on October 9 and its share price shot up 33c or 2.5 per cent to $13.53. Rival Foley Wines climbed $1 or 5.88 per cent to $1.80.
Just Life Group, which supplies water coolers, was the afternoon's biggest mover, rising 23c or 37.7 per cent to 84c, though trade was very light with 315 transactions worth $91,000. Just Life announced a 53 per cent increase in net profit to $2.93m, while revenue was down 9.6 per cent to $30.25m.
Late in the afternoon, Cannasouth announced its six months result, showing revenue of $58,000 and a loss of $1.45m compared with a loss of $821,175 for the previous corresponding period. The medicinal cannabis company has cash on hand of $10.8m, and its share plunged 45c or 37.19 per cent to 76c.