MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares fall; Sky TV, ANZ, Westpac drop

MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares fall; Sky TV, ANZ, Westpac drop, Air NZ extends gains

By Sophie Boot

June 6 (BusinessDesk) – New Zealand shares fell, led lower by dual-listed banks and Sky Network Television, while Air New Zealand extended last week’s gains.

The S&P/NZX50 index dropped 5 points, or 0.067 percent, to 7,494.97. Within the index, 24 stocks fell, 22 rose and four were unchanged. Turnover was $184 million.

Market participants are a bit anxious about ongoing terrorist attacks and global political events such as the upcoming UK general election, said Shane Solly, director, portfolio manager and research analyst at Harbour Asset Management. “We are seeing more of these investors wanting to buy higher certainty stocks,” Solly said. „Z Energy and Genesis Energy are companies that have got a degree of yield and income, which makes them attractive especially as interest rates stay low.”

Z Energy rose 1.2 percent to $7.70 while Genesis Energy gained 0.9 percent to $2.37.

Sky Network Television was the worst performer, down 3.6 percent to $3.50. A2 Milk Co dropped 2.6 percent to $3.38 and SkyCity Entertainment Group declined 2.4 percent to $4.39.

Australia and New Zealand Banking Group dropped 3 percent to $28.70 and Westpac Banking Corp declined 2.9 percent to $30.96. The dual-listed banks have become less profitable with credit growth slowing and increased pushback from the government on levies, Solly said.

ANZ Bank New Zealand’s UDC Finance unit today announced it had lifted first-half profit 11 percent to $30.2 million as it prepares for its sale to China’s HNA Group,

Air New Zealand was the best performer, up 2.4 percent to $2.97. The national carrier said its gas turbines business has won four contracts worth up to US$42 million to service and overhaul gas turbines that power much of the US Navy’s fleet. It’s still being rewarded by the market after last week upgrading its earnings guidance, Solly said.

Xero gained 2.4 percent to $26.10. The company wants to boost its pool for directors fees 64 percent to cater for an extra two or three directors to guide what’s become a much larger software company since the board’s pay was last reviewed three years ago. Xero currently has seven directors and a $850,000 pool, which it wants to raise to $1.4 million.


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