You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

NZ shares mixed during holiday trading

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 5/01/2017
© Bloomberg

New Zealand shares were mixed in holiday trading with yield stocks such as Spark New Zealand and Chorus attracting buyers, while A2 Milk Co was dragged lower by a looming boardroom stoush at ASX-listed rival Bellamy's Australia.

The S&P/NZX 50 Index edged up 1.3 points, or 0.02 per cent, to 6975.6 on Thursday. Within the index, 24 stocks fell, 18 rose and eight were unchanged. Turnover was $85.7 million.

Peter McIntyre, investment adviser at Craigs Investment Partners, says holiday trading has been slow.

"Yesterday we saw some quite good buying in some of the blue chips but they've probably weakened off a bit today," he said.

"We've seen a bit of reversal in interest rates, we've seen swap rates give back some of the gains they made towards the later part of 2016, and we've seen some interest rate sensitive stocks go higher on the back of that - namely Spark, Chorus, Contact, Mercury have been the main ones today."

Spark rose 2.9 per cent to $3.60, Mercury New Zealand gained two per cent to $5.26, Chorus rose 1.7 per cent to $4.10 and Contact Energy gained 1.5 per cent to $4.74.

Retirement village operator Arvida Group, which joined the benchmark index on December 16, was the best performer, up 3.1 per cent to $1.34.

Scales Corp was the worst performer, down 2.9 per cent, or 10 cents, to $3.37, after giving up rights to an eight-cent interim dividend.

A2 Milk Co fell 1.4 per cent to $2.09. The share price began dropping in December after Australian competitor Bellamy's was placed in a trading halt, which has been extended until January 13.

The shares began recovering when A2 gave an upbeat pre-Christmas market update.

But they resumed their downward track on Wednesday after news that Singapore-based Black Prince Private Foundation, which holds 14.5 per cent of Bellamy's, has requisitioned an extraordinary general meeting of Bellamy's shareholders to remove four independent directors and replace them with four of its nominees.

Fonterra Shareholders Fund dipped 0.3 per cent to $6.03. Dairy product prices fell at the GlobalDairyTrade auction this week, sliding for a second consecutive auction, as whole milk powder prices unexpectedly sank amid increased volume on offer.

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon