MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares rise on Genesis sentiment, MRP, Meridian gain; Xero leads market
By Suze Metherell
April 22 (BusinessDesk) – New Zealand stocks rose as Genesis Energy held its gains on the second day of trading, lifting sentiment for fellow government-controlled energy companies, MightyRiverPower and Meridian Energy. Xero led gainers.
The NZX 50 Index rose 1.591 points, or 0.03 percent, to 5104.939. Within the index, 15 stocks rose, 26 fell and nine were unchanged. Turnover was $108 million.
Genesis maintained its price after listing last Thursday, as demand for shares in the majority state owned electricity generator and retailer continued with over $30 million-worth of its shares changing hands today. It was the last of the government’s assets to be partially-privatised, following the sell down of MightyRiverPower and Meridian.
Meridian rose 1.3 percent to a record $1.19. MightyRiverPower advanced 1.4 percent to $2.24. Genesis gained 1.1 percent to $1.83.
“The main activity once again was in the Genesis shares second day of trading, still some very good demand as yield investors are quite keen to buy the stock at these higher levels,” said Grant Williamson, director at Hamilton Hindin Greene. “It certainly has rubbed off on the other SOE electricity generators.”
Investors were tentative in returning to tech stocks after concerns the companies couldn’t deliver on high valuations had seen the high growth stocks sold down sharply over the past month.
Xero, the cloud-based accounting software company, rose about 8 percent to $31.31, having sunk as low as$28.05 last week, the lowest close in almost six months.
Other tech stocks fell. Pacific Edge, the Dunedin-based biotech company, fell 3.4 percent to $1.13. Diligent, maker of the governance app, dropped 4 percent to $4.60.
Outside the NZX 50, SLI Systems, the search engine developer, declined 3.6 percent to $1.90, while Wynyard Group, the security software firm, fell 2.1 percent to $2.39.
“We’re just seeing investors buying back into what you’d consider to be the big cap stock in that sector, Xero,” Williamson said. “There is not a lot of bargain hunting going on in the tech stocks and there still seems to be a bit of profit taking in those ones, like SLI, Diligent and Pacific Edge,”
A2 Milk Company slipped 1.2 percent to 84 cents.
Fletcher Building, New Zealand’s largest listed company, fell 0.2 percent to $9.60. Telecom slipped 0.2 percent to $2.625 while Auckland International Airport dropped 1.8 percent to $3.97. Air New Zealand rose 0.5 percent to $2.08.
Retailers were mixed after one of the busiest weekends of the year, the Easter weekend sales. Kathmandu Holdings, the outdoor good chain, fell 2.4 percent to $3.70. Brisbane-based jeweller Michael Hill International dropped 2.2 percent to $1.31. Warehouse Group, New Zealand’s largest listed retailer, climbed 1.5 percent to $3.31