The New Zealand sharemarket ended the holiday-shortened week with a whimper, but held up better than offshore markets as the spectre of rising interest rates loomed.
The benchmark S&P/NZX40 Index closed on Friday down 0.3%, or 45 points, at 11,908, following a flat finish on Thursday.
Shane Solly, Harbour Asset Management portfolio manager, said the market had not managed to hit positive territory, following a weaker performance from global markets overnight.
Were actually holding up relatively well, but its all about Air New Zealand and index change today.
READ MORE:* NZX50 Index down 0.1%, recovers after inflation hits 6.9%* NZX50 slips 0.3%, Meridian down 2% after low lake levels affect generation* S&P/NZX50 rises 0.5%, Air New Zealand shares up 4.9%
Globally weve seen airline stocks performing better on the back of better load factors, so planes are fuller and suggestions that ticket pricing is able to pass on the higher fuel price. The Air New Zealand share price has reacted to that today.
Air New Zealand shares were up 4.6% at 89.5 cents while the rights soared 15.3% to 73.8c on volume valued at $5 million.
In the United States, American Airlines gained 3.8% after telling investors it expects to turn a profit in the second quarter as more people return to travel.
AIR NEW ZEALAND
Air New Zealand shares were up 4.6% at 89.5 cents while the rights soared 15.3% to 73.8c.
Travel technology business Serko also had a better day, up 4.1% at $4.80, benefiting potentially from the expansion in travel around the world.
At the other end were electricity generators and retailers Meridian Energy and Contact Energy, heavily traded as their weightings were reset in a global clean energy exchange trade fund.
Meridian was down 1.4% at $4.83 on turnover of 14 million shares, worth $70m. Contact fell 0.4% to $8.11 on turnover of 10 million shares, worth $88m. The shares remained in the index, but their weighting was reducing to make way for other stocks.
Top stock Fisher & Paykel Healthcare was down 1.3% at $22.29, Auckland Airport fell 0.6% to $7.85, Mercury Energy was down 0.6% at $5.91 and Mainfreight slid 1.2% to $80.50.
Retirement village operator Ryman Healthcare was a bit stronger on the day, up 2.7% at $9.20, recovering after a dip below $9 this week.
It has been quite weak, people are taking a bit of a view that it could come out of an index globally as well, so that stocks got to the point where its quite low-priced compared to how the business has normally been priced basically over the last 10, 20 years, Solly said.
A2 Milk continued to slide, losing 1.7% to $5.03 while Spark was down 0.4% at $4.92. Trading in the telco was heavy on Wednesday, worth $22m, but it had returned to a more normal level of $12m on Friday.
Despite the softer day, Spark was trading at the top of its range, with investors attracted to a stock that had relatively solid earnings and dividends they could rely on particularly as economic headwinds appeared, he said.
Definitely the potential sale of the cellphone towers is being seen as quite a positive thing, potentially realising value that had been underestimated by the stock price.
Across the Tasman, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 Index fell 1.5%, or 115 points, to 7477 in late afternoon trading, dragged down by resource stocks.
Solly said recent weak quarterly production updates from miners had prompted a cut in analysts forecasts.
In many cases people are thinking about wheres a good defensive place to be, and that's where our New Zealand gentailers and some of our other stocks come back to the fore.
Shares fell across Asia, including a nearly 2% drop in Tokyo.
Earlier on Wall Street, stocks slipped after United States Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell indicated increases in interest rates must be faster to fight inflation.
The S&P 500 closed 1.5% lower at 4393.66 after having been up 1.2% in the early going. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 1% to 34,792.76 and the Nasdaq slid 2.1% to 13,174.65.
- With AP
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