MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares fall as Xero slides; Meridian lists
MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares fall as Xero extends slide; Meridian, utilities gain
Oct. 29 (BusinessDesk) – New Zealand shares fell as Xero extended its slide from a record high and market heavyweights Fletcher Building and Telecom dragged the benchmark index lower. Meridian Energy gained on its debut, helping lift MightyRiverPower and Contact Energy.
The NZX 50 Index fell 10.759 points, or 0.2 percent, to 4852.594. Within the index, 21 stocks fell, 21 rose and eight were unchanged. Turnover of $141 million was bolstered by trading in Sky Network Television and SkyCity Entertainment Group.
Xero, the cloud-based accounting software company, fell 2.8 percent to $27.90, having soared 278 percent this year. Diligent Board Members Services dropped 3.2 percent to $4.55 and outside of the benchmark index, Pacific Edge tumbled 16 percent to $1.25, paring back some of this year’s 176 percent advance.
“The profit takers are definitely back in control today,” said Grant Williamson, a director at Hamilton Hindin Greene.
Telecom fell 1.7 percent to $2.275 and Fletcher, which released presentation notes for an investor briefing today, declined 1 percent to $9.50. Air New Zealand shed 4 percent to $1.62 and Trade Me dropped 1.3 percent to $4.57.
Meridian ended its first day on the bourse at $1.08 compared to the instalment receipt price in the government’s initial public offering of $1. Investors must pay the second instalment of 50 cents in 2015. MightyRiverPower, which has lagged its $2.50 IPO price since May, gained 0.9 percent to $2.20 and Contact Energy gained 0.2 percent to $5.21.
“Meridian had a pretty successful first day’s trading for the biggest IPO,” Williamson said. “It has given a bit of confidence to the electricity stocks in the market.”
A Fairfax poll showing gains for the National government also gave investors some confidence that a Labour-Greens coalition wouldn’t be able to establish a centralised power authority if they win next year’s election, he said.
Sky TV rose 0.7 percent to $6.14 and SkyCity gained 1.8 percent to $3.93.
Metlifecare rose 0.5 percent to $4.08, extending its gains of Friday when Infratil and the NZ Superannuation Fund said they would take up a key shareholding. Rival retirement village operator Summerset Group rose 0.6 percent to $3.20 and Ryman Healthcare fell 0.3 percent to $7.46.
Infratil declined 1.6 percent to $2.52.
Australia & New Zealand Banking Group rose about 3 percent to $39 on the NZX after the Australian lender posted a record profit.
New Zealand Oil & Gas, which has interests in the Tui and Kupe fields, was unchanged at 84 cents after telling shareholders it will lean on its cash reserves to maintain a competitive dividend as it ramps up exploration.
GuocoLeisure was unchanged at 78 cents after posting a 29 percent drop in first-quarter profit on costs for its hotel rebranding strategy. NZX, the stock market operator, rose 0.8 percent to $1.27 after posting a 12 percent gain in third-quarter revenue on new listings.