Investors should brace themselves for a tougher time on stockmarkets in next few days following the big bounce back last week, says Mark Lister, head of private wealth research at Craigs Investment Partners.

The NZX has opened down 1.5 per cent this morning picking up from Wall Street's falls on Friday. (Saturday NZT).

US stock markets ended in the red on Friday with the S&P 500 down 3.4 per cent, the Dow Jones Industrial Average down 4.1 per cent and the Nasdaq down 3.8 per cent.

"The good news is that the NZX fall has been more modest, which is often the case," Lister said.


He said he expected it would be more volatile on markets this week with more bearish sentiment.

Last week had seen a big rebound - the best since 2008 - on the back of Government and central bank rescue packages.

"I think we probably give a little bit of that back this week," he said.

There had been lots of good headlines for people to focus on.

"I think for the time being a lot of those positive headlines are probably behind us," he said. "You will start to see the economic data look pretty ugly from here."

The time frame for the disruption was still "a complete moving target".

"We will be choppy from here on," he said.

"In periods like this, in bear markets, when it is so unclear, you often have a good week followed by a bad week," he said.


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Not everything was in the red, Lister said.

Utilities like Genesis Energy and Contact Energy and TrustPower were up. Some others like Synlait and Oceana Healthcare were also up.

Two major banks expect New Zealand's gross domestic product (GDP) to contract by about six per cent this year as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

ASB Bank expects Covid-19 to deliver a "sizeable cumulative hit" to GDP on the basis that not all the activity deferred during the current four-week lockdown will be brought back on stream.

A senior economist at the bank, Mark Smith, said the economy was heading for a deep, but short-lived, contraction.


"We assume Covid-19 will cause the economy to shrink by around 6 per cent of GDP over 2020, considerably above the sub 3 per cent cumulative falls to NZ production-based GDP in the early 1990s downturn and the Global Financial Crisis," Smith said in a report.

ANZ was last week forecasting a 3 to 4 per cent contraction but now expects a 5 to 6 per cent fall.

"We now have some degree of (Covid-19) community transmission, and our updated forecasts reflect the fact that New Zealand will be in lockdown for at least four weeks," ANZ said.

"We now expect GDP to fall by 5-6 per cent over 2020, but the drop is now heavily front-loaded into Q2.

"And activity at the end of the year under these forecasts is running about 8 per cent below the previous trend seen at the end of last year," ANZ said.

Meanwhile, the kiwi dollar continues to benefit from the concerted global effort of governments and central banks to soften the economic impact of the pandemic.


The kiwi was trading at 60.27 US cents at 8am in Wellington versus 60.35 cents late Friday in New York. The Government's official Covid-19 advisory website