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MARKET CLOSE: Shares fall in global sell off; Spark, MRP, ANZ decline

S&P/NZX 50 Index fell 86.7 points, or 1.5 percent, to 5612.43.

Suze Metherell
Tue, 29 Sep 2015

New Zealand shares fell in a global sell off amid fears that China's economic growth is slowing. Spark New Zealand, MightyRiverPower and Australia & New Zealand Banking Group were among decliners.

The S&P/NZX 50 Index fell 86.7 points, or 1.5 percent, to 5612.43. Within the index, 40 stocks fell, four rose and six were unchanged. Turnover was $140 million.

Equity markets in Europe and the US fell overnight, and commodities dropped amid concern growth in China may be slowing, after figures yesterday showed weaker Chinese industrial profits. Asian markets followed suit, with the Shanghai Composite Index dropping 1.8 percent in afternoon trading, Australia's S&P/ASX 200 Index slid 2.9 percent and Japan's Nikkei 225 Index fell 3.6 percent.

In New Zealand, larger blue chip stocks, typically held by offshore investors, fell as equities were sold as an asset class. Spark, the telecommunications company, dropped 3.2 percent to $2.99. MRP, the energy generator and retailer, declined 2.8 percent to $2.575. The dual-listed banks retreated, with Westpac Banking Corp down 3.3 percent to $32.42, while ANZ slid 2.3 percent to $29.52.

"Once the foreign investors got involved the volume picked up and so did the sell down," said James Smalley, director at Hamilton Hindin Greene. "It's classic risk off trading, selling from exposure to commodity-based currencies, and an our economy like ours. It's the continual worries about growth out of China and the implication that has for world growth in general and demand for our commodities."

Fisher & Paykel Healthcare, the breathing apparatus manufacturer and exporter, led the benchmark index lower, down 3.4 percent to $7.17. Orion Health Group, the health care management software developer, fell 0.9 percent to $3.34.

Of the day's few gainers, Vital Healthcare Property Trust, the hospital property investor, was the best performer on the benchmark index up 0.9 percent to $1.725. Restaurant Brands New Zealand, the fast food chain operator, gained 0.8 percent to $4.03. Nuplex Industries, the resins business, advanced 0.5 percent to $3.83, and Warehouse Group, the country's largest listed retailer, rose 0.4 percent to $2.59.

Kathmandu Holdings dropped 0.7 percent to $1.40. The outdoor clothing retailer, which spurned a takeover offer from Briscoe Group this year, reported net profit about halved to $20.4 million because of "aggressive" discounting to shift surplus stock and weak demand in Australia. It affirmed guidance for a rebound in 2016 while announcing the exit from the UK market. Briscoe was unchanged at $2.84.

Outside the benchmark index, Comvita advanced 3.9 percent to $6.75. The manuka honey products maker has tapped chief operating officer Scott Coulter to replace outgoing chief executive Brett Hewlett, taking over the task of more than doubling annual sales over the next five years.

Augusta Capital was unchanged at 98.5 cents. The property investor and fund manager appointed Paul Duffy to its board with the intention of promoting him to chairman when Peter Wilson retires in December.

(BusinessDesk)

Suze Metherell
Tue, 29 Sep 2015
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MARKET CLOSE: Shares fall in global sell off; Spark, MRP, ANZ decline
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