Market close: Shares slip – Fletcher, FPH lead decline
BUSINESSDESK: New Zealand shares fell after figures showed China’s imports growing less than expected and as investors await the start of US earnings season.
Fletcher Building and Fisher & Paykel Healthcare paced the decline.
The NZX 50 Index fell 15.46 points, or 0.4%, to 3464.72. Within the index, 25 stocks fell, 16 rose and nine were unchanged. Turnover was $ 96.6 million.
Imports by China, New Zealand’s second-largest market after Australia, rose 6.3%t in June from a year earlier, compared to expectations in a Bloomberg survey of 11%.
Meanwhile, US earnings will give investors an update on corporate health in the world’s biggest economy.
"Everybody is watching and getting a gauge on where the US economy is sitting and how that translates into profit," said Mark Lister, head of private wealth research at Craigs Investment Partners.
"In our market, the good results will come from domestically focused stocks – some of the export stocks will still be feeling the high currency.”
F&P Healthcare, which gets more than 50% of revenue in US dollars, fell 2.4% to $2. Rakon, which ships its crystal oscillators worldwide, declined 2.1% to 47 cents. Nuplex Industries, the specialty chemicals maker, fell 1.2% to $2.56.
Fletcher, the nation’s biggest building materials company, fell 1.6% to $6.10.
The New Zealand Institute of Economic Research’s latest quarterly survey of business opinion showed firms turned negative in the second quarter, with a net 1% of those surveyed pessimistic about the general business situation, compared to a net 24% of optimists in the previous period.
Goodman Fielder, the Australia food manufacturer, fell 6.9% to 68 cents, the biggest percentage decline on the NZX 50.
Shares of Michael Hill International were unchanged at 99 cents after the listed jewellery chain said full-year same-store sales edged up 0.3% as revenue in its largest market of Australia continued to shrink.
Metlifecare, the retirement village operator, was unchanged at $2.12. The company said today it has received approval under the Overseas Investment Act for its merger with Vision Senior Living and Private Life Care.
Shares in Oceanagold, the operator of the Macraes gold field, fell 5.7% to $2.31. Trafigura Beheer BV, a global commodity trading firm has agreed to buy all of the copper/gold concentrate from the company's Didipio project in Luzon, northern Philippines.
Heartland New Zealand rose 1.9% to 53 cents after Pyne Gould Corp’s sell-down last week coincided with South Island businessman Craig Tomlinson building his stake in the would-be lender in recent months. Tomlinson is now the lender’s biggest shareholder with 8.8%.
Telstra, the Australian phone company, rose 2.5% to $4.90 and Telecom, the biggest company on the NZX 50, rose 0.4% to $2.50.
Rubicon shares were unchanged at 30 cents in trading today and have shed 13% this year.
Sophrosyne Capital, a New York-based fund manager, has emerged with a 7.5% in Rubicon after doubling the size of its investment in the New Zealand forestry biotech firm’s recent rights issue.
Tower, the insurance and wealth management firm, fell 1.2% to $1.59 after Guinness Peat Group disclosed its holding had slipped to 33.6% from 34.99% because Tower’s dividend reinvestment plan had lifted overall shares on issue.