New Zealand

NXZ gains 0.9 per cent, overseas markets put Covid-19 to one side

The New Zealand share market gained some ground on Tuesday as investors overseas appeared to be ignoring the devastating effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

The NZX-50 closed up 105 points, or 0.91 per cent, at 11771.72, after ending Monday down 61 points.

Hamilton Hindin Greene director Grant Williamson said a very solid performance from the international markets, and Australia in particular, had provided New Zealand shares with a bit of support.

“The main announcement was an update from Ryman on the Victorian situation, obviously they have a couple of operating villages over there and are developing others.

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The New Zealand share market gained some ground on Tuesday.


The New Zealand share market gained some ground on Tuesday.

“That was slightly negative, so we’ve seen that share price come off a wee bit.”

The blue chip retirement village operator fell 2.2 per cent, or 30 cents, to $12.90 after telling investors that its Weary Dunlop and Nellie Melba villages in the Australian state of Victoria had been in lockdown for the past four weeks, with visiting restricted.

The Victorian government’s tightened Level 4 lockdown restrictions meant work at Ryman’s Nellie Melba, Burwood East and Aberfeldie construction sites would be significantly reduced over the next six weeks.

Construction would continue at two other villages, Highton and Ocean Grove, which were outside metropolitan Melbourne and not subject to the Level 4 lockdown restrictions.

“At this early stage of the lockdown it is hard to predict what impact it may have on our previously communicated target of delivering 900 beds and units in the 2021 financial year,” the company said.

A contractor at Burwood East tested positive for Covid-19, but no residents or staff had contracted it.

Ruman’s Weary Dunlop retirement village in Melbourne has been in lockdown.


Ruman’s Weary Dunlop retirement village in Melbourne has been in lockdown.

Also in negative territory was Auckland Airport, down 2.1 per cent, or 13.5c, at $6.22.

The other top-10 stock to decline was Mainfreight, down 0.75 per cent or 35c to $46.45.

Everything else was looking relatively solid, in particular Fisher & Paykel Healthcare which rose 3.1 per cent, or $1.13, to $37.18.

“Overall a pretty positive day on the NZX given there’s very little stock-specific news to speak of, and we’re really just following those international markets a little bit higher today,” he said.

A2 Milk was up 1.49 per cent, or 31c, at $21.11; Spark was up 0.7 per cent, or 3.5c, at $4.97; Meridian Energy rose 0.8 per cent, or 4c, to $4.82; Contact Energy gained 1.7 per cent, or 10c, to $5.95; Infratil was up 0.4 per cent, or 2c, to $4.83; and Fletcher Building gained 1.4 per cent, or 5c, to $3.43.

On Monday, Wellington International Airport launched a $75 million corporate bond, with up to $25 million in oversubscriptions, which is offering at least 2.5 per cent interest for six years.

“It gives you an indication that investors are looking elsewhere apart from fixed interest to actually improve their returns. It does help underpin the equity markets,” Williamson said.

Looking overseas, Covid-19 was still headline news both in the United States and Australia, but it did not seem to be having any real effect on their equity markets.

“I think investors have put the effects of the virus to one side at this stage.”

According to the World Health Organisation's tally, there were nearly 18 million confirmed coronavirus cases as of Tuesday, up from 10.2 million at the beginning of July, as outbreaks expanded or revived in many regions.

Such tallies were thought to vastly understate the number of actual cases due to limits of testing and other issues.

Shares advanced across Asia on Tuesday, with Tokyo's Nikkei 225 up 1.8 per cent to 22,596.02 and the Hang Seng in Hong Kong adding 2.2 per cent to 24,997.25.

Sydney's S&P ASX 200 jumped 2.1 per cent to 6049.60.

Overnight in the US, the S&P 500 added another 0.7 per cent onto its four-month winning streak, closing within 3 per cent of the record high it set in February, at 3294.61.

Big Tech led the way higher again, and Microsoft and Apple alone accounted for most of the S&P 500′s gain.

- With AP

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