NZ share trading volume rises in March while value of trade falls
By Rebecca Howard
April 5 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand share trading continued to push higher in March but values fell against a backdrop of global volatility as investors grew increasingly concerned about the prospect of a global trade war.
Total cash market trading on the NZX rose 73.8 percent to 298,294 in March from the same month a year earlier, the stock exchange operator's monthly shareholder metrics show. Total value traded, however, fell 14.9 percent to $3.4 billion and there was a 6.8 percent slide in daily average trades to $163 million.
Year-to-date the total number of trades is up 76.4 percent to 740,499 and the total value traded is up 3 percent to $9.3 billion.
Of total trading, the bulk is in equity transactions that rose 76.2 percent to 295,514 while the value fell 13.7 percent to $3.3 billion. Debt trading fell 28.5 percent to 2,780 and the value traded fell 41 percent to $100 million.
The NZX 50 ended March at 8,319, up 15.6 percent on the year while the market capitalisation of NZX's equities rose 8.4 percent to $127.6 billion, or 45 percent of gross domestic product. The debt market's value increased 1.1 percent to $26.7 billion, or 9.4 percent of GDP.
The number of listed securities fell 2.6 percent in March to 295, with stocks on the main board down 4.9 percent to 156, NZAX listings falling 5.9 percent to 16, NXT issuers unchanged at 4 and NZDX issuers up 4.7 percent at 45.
Some $86 million of capital was raised in March across 21 events, all of which was equity by primary issuers.
Derivatives trading was mixed in the period, with a 25.7 percent fall in futures lots to 15,627 and an 8.6 percent lift in options traded to 4,890. Open interest fell 25.5 percent to 37,453.
NZX's funds management division continued to expand, with total SuperLife funds under management up 12.8 percent to $1.98 billion and total Smartshares funds up 21.7 percent to $2.22 billion. Funds under administration in NZX's wealth technology shrank 13.6 percent to $1.1 billion.
New Zealand agri data subscriptions rose 45.5 percent to 3,635 while Australian data products increased 2.5percent to 1,510. Paid ad page equivalents at the Farmers Weekly publication, which NZX has sold, shrank0.5 percent to 112, while year-to-date ad page equivalents were up 1.8 percent to 303.