The New Zealand sharemarket, so gallant over the past four months, finally buckled under the pressure of Covid-19 as stocks fell all across the trading board.
With the re-emergence of the tricky virus in the community causing further financial uncertainty, the S&P/NZX 50 Index slumped 153.40 points or 1.32 per cent to 11,491.91.
The index went as low as 11,338.85 points, and despite the recovery during the volatile trading day it was the biggest fall since July 9 when the index declined 2.2 per cent.
There were 118 decliners and only 33 gainers across the whole market of 182 stocks. Two-thirds of the gainers were exchange traded funds and investment trusts. Trading was heavy with 89.38 million shares worth $241.96 million changing hands.
Jeremy Sullivan, investment advisor with Hamilton Hindin Greene, said the market wasn't too impressed going back into level 3 (Auckland) and level 2 (the rest of the country).
"There was plenty of red across the screen. The market opened down 2.5 per cent, it made a comeback after Australia opened but it then treaded water. It's the sharpest move we've had for a while, and every day is a little bit different," he said.
Sullivan said the retail, tourism, hospitality and airline stocks will again be the hardest hit during lockdown.
Tourism Holdings fell 14c or 7.4 per cent to $1.75; SkyCity which closed its Auckland casino was down 9c or 3.6 per cent to $2.43; Air New Zealand fell 5c or 3.6 per cent to $1.325; and Kiwi Property which owns Sylvia Park shopping centre was down 5c or 4.7 per cent to $1.02.
The two heavyweights Fisher and Paykel Healthcare and a2 Milk mirrored the NZX index movement, with the former falling 26c to $34.49 and the latter down 8c or to $20.50.
Fletcher Building fell 10c or 2.9 per cent to $3.40 a day after updating its business performance, and Mainfreight was down 43c to $44.87.
The retirement village stocks, also under pressure because of the Covid restrictions, attracted strong trading. Ryman Healthcare fell 40c or 3.1 per cent to $12.50.
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The dual-listed banks, ANZ rose 52c or 2.61 per cent to $20.44 and Westpac increased 56c or 2.93 per cent to $19.67.
The day's biggest mover was Dunedin-based Scott Technology , rising 6c or 3.41 per cent to $1.82. Scott earlier reported it had been awarded a further multi-million dollar contract by Rio Tinto to provide equipment for a new sample preparation and analysis laboratory at the Robe Valley iron ore mine in Western Australia.
Sky Network Television was positive about the state of its business but got caught up in the new Covid shock, its share price falling 0.3c to 13.7c. Sky TV said its full-year would be in line with its guidance of net profit between $20m and $25m and ebitda (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) between $155m and $175m.
As a result of its $157m capital raise in May/June, Sky TV has repaid all bank debt and holds cash of $118m. Sky TV has sold its outside broadcast units to global operator NEP, which will be the technical production partner in New Zealand for the next 10 years. The sale will save $50m in capital expenditure over the next five years.