MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares mixed after Fed result

New Zealand shares were mixed after the US Federal Reserve followed expectations, with Vista Group Entertainment and Auckland International Airport gaining while Sky Network Television and Ebos Group dropped.

The S&P/NZX50 Index rose 20.68 points, or 0.3 percent, to 7,151.98. Within the index, 31 stocks dropped, 18 rose and one was unchanged. Turnover was $128.2 million.

Overnight, the US Federal Reserve raised its key interest rate, as had been widely expected, and reiterated that further increases will follow a gradual path.

"We've seen some of these interest-rate sensitive sectors under pressure recently, a sharp sell-off in bond yields globally, but that reverted a bit today," said Craig Stent, director and research analyst at Harbour Asset Management. "The Fed moving is probably the biggest news of the day, their outlook statement is more dovish, they're not going to raise rates at a rapid level unless the data comes through strongly so I guess that's an optimal period for equities - it's gradual, growth is still coming through no scaring the horses."

"Yield-sensitive stocks are having a bit of a rally today, the listed property sector - which is down about 6 percent over the last two weeks - is having a better day, and stocks like Contact and Genesis as well," Stent said.

Retirement village operator Summerset Group Holdings gained 1.8 percent, while Precinct Properties New Zealand gained 0.9 percent to $1.155. Meridian Energy rose 1.1 percent to $2.79 and Contact Energy advanced 0.6 percent to $4.91.

Vista Group was the best performer, up 3.6 percent to $5.80, while Auckland International Airport rose 2.5 percent to $7.

Sky Network Television was the worst performer, down 2.7 percent to $3.59, while Ebos Group dropped 2 percent to $18.20 and Skycity Entertainment Group declined 1.9 percent to $4.09.

Goodman Property Trust dipped 0.4 percent to $1.17. The NZX-listed commercial and industrial property investor sold commercial buildings and associated development land in Christchurch to a local investor for $14 million.

Outside the benchmark index, Windflow Technology was unchanged at 1 cent. The unprofitable wind turbine manufacturer widened its first-half loss and said it needs new injections of capital. The Christchurch-based company reported a loss of $1.5 million in the six months ended Dec. 31, compared to a loss of $798,000 a year earlier, it said in a statement. Operating revenue rose to $2.9 million from $953,000, while cost of sales jumped to $2.2 million from $173,000.


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