New Zealand shares rose, ending the month up 2.7 per cent, led by a revival in Ryman Healthcare while Sky Network Television and NZX dropped.
The S&P/NZX 50 Index gained 2.36 points, or 0.03 per cent, to 8,146.34. Within the index, 23 stocks rose, 19 fell and eight were unchanged. Turnover was $234 million.
Ryman Healthcare was the best performer, up 1.8 per cent to $9.30. The stock fell as low as $8.85 a week ago amidst investor concern about the impact the new government's policies could have on house prices. Strong house price gains have driven retirement village stocks higher over recent years.
Peter McIntyre, an investment adviser at Craigs Investment Partners, said those concerns had spooked investors but that the stock tended to bounce when it gets below $9. It is up 12.7 per cent this year. Other retirement stocks were mixed, with Metlifecare unchanged at $5.78 and Summerset down 0.2 per cent to $4.87 today.
Z Energy gained 1.7 per cent to $7.37, Genesis Energy rose 1.7 per cent to $2.45, and Tourism Holdings advanced 1.6 per cent to $5.08.
Sky TV was the worst performer, down 3.1 per cent to $2.50. Comvita dropped 2.7 per cent to $8.51 and Chorus fell 2.3 per cent to $4.015.
NZX dropped 1.7 per cent to $1.18. It posted a 4.4 per cent decline in third-quarter revenue to $18.5 million as a tepid environment for new listings weighed on the stock market operator's income.
Listing fees dropped 8.7 per cent to $3.6 million, only just keeping its position as the Wellington-based company's biggest source of income. Market operations shrank 22 per cent to $2.3 million, while the bright point for the market division was a 10 per cent gain in securities information to $2.6 million on an increase in professional terminal numbers and high-value subscription products.
Outside the benchmark index, Cavalier Corp gained 11 per cent to 40 cents. The struggling New Zealand carpet maker expects earnings to improve this financial year and next as it reaps the benefits from restructuring its manufacturing operations, a lower wool price and reduced debt.
Chair Sarah Haydon said uncertainty remained about the company's forecasts and the board doesn't expect to be able to give meaningful earnings guidance until after the first-half results at the earliest.
McIntyre said it was welcome news and the company may be turning a corner, "although in saying that they have turned a couple of corners over the past 12 to 18 months."
PGG Wrightson dropped 3.5 per cent to 56 cents. It said earnings growth will stall this year after a wet winter and spring and it will embark on a strategic review following the appointment of new chief executive Ian Glasson.
Operating earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation for the coming year are expected to be in line with the $64.5 million reported for the year ended June 30, while net profit will fall about 30 per cent, mainly reflecting one-time gains from property sales in 2017 that won't be repeated in the current financial year.