New Zealand shares snapped a six-day decline, rising ahead of a flurry of company results this week as investors adjusted their earnings expectations to the benefit of A2 Milk and detriment of Fletcher Building.
The S&P/NZX 50 Index increased 47.12 points, or 0.4 per cent, to 10,702.48. Within the index, 23 stocks rose, 23 fell, and four were unchanged. Turnover was $128.3 million.
The domestic corporate earnings season picks up speed this week with blue-chip stocks including Mercury NZ, A2, Fletcher, Spark New Zealand, Air New Zealand and Auckland International Airport scheduled to report.
A2 led the market higher, up 3.4 per cent at $16.23 on a volume of 807,000 shares, ahead of its 90-day average of 716,400. The milk marketing firm is scheduled to report on Wednesday, and Forsyth Barr analysts are predicting a near-60 per cent gain in annual profit.
"People are coming back into the stock on an upgrade from one of the brokers," said Shane Solly, a portfolio manager at Harbour Asset Management. "There's a bit of earnings result tweaking going on."
Synlait Milk, which supplies A2, rose 0.3 per cent to $9.38. Fonterra Shareholders' Fund units fell 1.1 per cent to $3.50.
Fletcher, which reports the same day as A2, was the most heavily traded stock on a volume of 4 million shares, well up on its 1.05 million average. It fell 1.6 per cent to $4.45. Solly said there were a few brokers who were "pointing at the potential for a little bit of weakness."
Of other upcoming major results, Mercury declined 0.2 per cent to $4.94, Spark increased 1.5 per cent to $4.04 on a volume of 2.6 million, Air New Zealand rose 1.1 per cent to $2.75 in light trading of 264,000 shares, and Auckland Airport decreased 0.6 per cent to $9.60.
Property For Industry rose 1.7 per cent to $2.335 with 1.2 million shares changing hands, the most since Nov. 7. The real estate investor reported a 57 per cent increase in first-half profit, underpinned by increased property revaluations.
NZX-listed company earnings have largely met expectations, with firms adopting a cautious outlook against the backdrop of a slowing local economy and lingering uncertainty in global trade. However, investors responded positively to US President Donald Trump's comments that he planned to talk to his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, very soon.
Solly said that optimism among investors helped lift global bond yields, which hit record lows last week, and noted that some yield stocks gave up some of their recent gains today. Chorus fell 1.7 per cent to $5.15, Meridian Energy was down 1.7 per cent at $4.67 and Vital Healthcare Property Trust slipped 1.5 per cent to $2.58.
Kiwi Property Trust rose 0.6 per cent to $1.62 on a volume of 3.9 million shares and Infratil was up 0.4 per cent at $4.68 on a volume of 3.2 million. Of other stocks trading on volumes of more than a million shares, SkyCity Entertainment Group advanced 0.8 per cent to $3.87 and Goodman Property Trust increased 0.7 per cent to $2.14.
Sky Network Television fell 0.8 per cent to $1.23. The pay-TV operator today said the issue price for the equity component of its US$40 million RugbyPass acquisition was $1.24 per share. The RugbyPass vendors will end up with 25.1 million shares, or 6.1 per cent of the enlarged company.
Z Energy fell 0.8 per cent to $6.61 ahead of tomorrow's release of a draft study into fuel pricing by the Commerce Commission. The transport fuels firm will hold a conference for investors later in the day.
NZX declined 1.6 per cent to $1.20 ahead of tomorrow's listing of Napier Port. The partial privatisation was oversubscribed at $2.60 a share and is the second initial public offering after a two-year drought. Cannasouth, which raised $10 million at 50 cents a share in June, fell 1.4 per cent to 34.5 cents.
Tourism Holdings reported the day's biggest decline, down 2.6 per cent at $3.77 on a volume of 163,000, down on its three-month average of 175,800. Pushpay Holdings fell 1.9 per cent to $3.09.
The Local Government Fund Agency's 2021 bond paying annual interest of 6 per cent was the most traded debt security on a volume of 320,000. The notes closed at a yield of 1.14 per cent, up 2 basis points.