Market close: NZ sharemarket rises on interest rates fall, travel bubble hopes

The New Zealand sharemarket rallied nearly one per cent on the back of a fall in wholesale interest rates and increased hopes of beginning a transtasman travel bubble.

The S&P/NZX 50 Index gained 106.75 points or 0.88 per cent to 12,251.90, on steady volume of 51.78 million shares worth $178.84 million.

The US 10-Year Treasury bond yield eased to 1.53 per cent, from 1.617 per cent, overnight and the energy and property stocks rebounded. The New Zealand 10-Year Government bond yield fell slightly to 1.82 per cent. The NZ dollar has weakened to US71.46c against the American greenback.

Shane Solly, portfolio manager with Harbour Asset Management, said the Australian government is putting pressure on New Zealand to re-open its border, and re-opening stocks like Auckland International Airport and Air New Zealand had better days.

“The interest rate-sensitive stocks have been whiplashed lately and the pause in long-term rates increasing has taken the pressure off the gentailers and property companies,” he said.

The large market cap stocks had a solid day. Fisher and Paykel Healthcare increased 83c or 2.93 per cent to $29.12; Meridian Energy rose 13c or 2.43 per cent to $5.49; Contact was up 22c or 3.21 per cent to $7.07; and Auckland International Airport climbed 8c to $7.09 on trade worth $16.6m.

Air New Zealand surged 5.5c or 3.46 per cent to $1.645; Freightways increased 23c or 2.14 per cent to $10.98; Mercury Energy gained 10c to $6.13; Tilt Renewables was up 15c or 2.4 per cent to $6.40; Synlait Milk collected 7c or 1.92 per cent to $3.71; and Restaurant Brands was up 15c to $12.45.

Fletcher Building climbed 7c to $6.75 after telling Australian institutions in a presentation that its residential division was performing well in a strong New Zealand market.

Ebos Group was down 25c to $28.50; Sanford fell 16c or 3.34 per cent to $4.63; a2 Milk shed 12c to $9.70; Infratil declined 5c to $7.15; Serko lost 8c to $5.62, and Scales Corporation decreased 14c or 3.11 per cent to $4.36.

Third Age Health Services strong run slowed, falling 3c to $2.52. New listing My Food Bag fell another 3c or 1.74 per cent to $1.69.

Amongst the property stocks, Stride Property rose 5c or 2.43 per cent to $2.11; Vital Healthcare was up 7.7c or 2.68 per cent to $2.95; and Property for Industry gained 2c to $2.80.

Goodman Property Trust said its property portfolio will post a second half revaluation gain of about $415m and will be worth $3.8 billion at March 31. Its share price increased 1c to $2.20.

Summerset Group Holdings has bought land in Chirnside Park Melbourne for its third 200-unit retirement village in Victoria. Its share price fell 10c to $12.75, while Ryman Healthcare increased 29c or 1.91 per cent to $15.44.

Turners Automotive Group rose 19c or 6.11 per cent to $3.30 after upgrading its earnings. It now expects net profit for the 2021 financial year to be at least $35m compared with the previous guidance of $33m-$35m, and the group is paying a third-quarter dividend of 6c a share on March 30.

Solly said Turners’ upgrade was a reminder that the domestic economy was pumping, and investors will be rotating to more value, cyclical stocks.

Hospitality group Savor rose 1.9c or 10.22 per cent to 20.5c after announcing it is adding Auckland Britomart’s Amano, Ortolana and The Store to its stable of bars and restaurants for a total payment of $11m. The businesses will add $3m annually to Savor’s operating earnings.

Me Today jumped 0.006c or 7.79 per cent to 8.3c after organising a distribution agreement with MASH Beauty Lab Co. for 10 of its skincare products into Japan.

On Wall Street, the technology-driven Nasdaq Composite index made a strong recovery from correction territory, rising 464 points or 3.69 per cent to 13,073.82 – with electric vehicle maker Tesla jumping 19.64 per cent to US$673.58 ($942.38), and Apple gaining 4.06 per cent to US$121.08.

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