New Zealand’s benchmark index dipped today as fleet management company Eroad tumbled to a record low.
The S&P/NZX 50 Index fell 90.1 points, or 0.82%, to 10,868.70. Turnover was $185.9 million.
Brad Gordon, a director at Hobson Wealth Partners, said it had been a “drifting” market over the day.
He said the business confidence data from the latest ANZ Business Outlook that was released today didn’t help – but at the same time, with interest rates coming off, it provided a level of support.
ANZ’s data revealed that 62.6% of respondents said they expected economic conditions to worsen over the next 12 months, versus a net 55.6% that were negative in May.
Gordon said the market was also reaching “confession season” given that a smallish reporting season is coming up.
“But there haven't been any confessions yet which is positive given how tough the environment is,” he said.
One of the index’s most heavily sold stocks in recent months – fleet management company Eroad – was down again today. The stock fell 3.4% to $1.42, bringing the company’s share price decline over the past year to 77%.
This is the lowest the share price has fallen since October 2016 when the stock was $1.45 per share.
Gordon said Eroad was an example of when key talent within a company was lost, the company itself could lose its way.
He said there was “potentially an overhang” from previous chief executive Steven Newman’s sudden exit from the company in April.
“Until they get some results and traction, the market is probably just going to stand back and see,” he said.
“It's probably just more about surprise.”
CMC analyst Tina Teng said the S&P/NZX 50 fell 0.23% in the first half hour of trading this morning.
Auckland International Airport, electric utility company Vector, and Fisher & Paykel Healthcare had led the loss while Air New Zealand, Skellerup Holdings and Pushpay had been among the biggest gainers at the market’s opening.
By the end of the day, Vector shares were still down 1.2% to $4.17, Fisher & Paykel Healthcare was up 0.5% to $19.98 and Auckland International Airport fell 2.7% to $7.18.
Church management software company Pushpay also dropped 1.6% to $1.27, manufacturer Skellerup Holdings 1.5% to $5.29 and Air NZ up 0.9% to 57 cents.
New Zealand King Salmon shares were flat at 19.5 cents per share after the company rejected media “speculation” this morning that it was seeking buyers.
The salmon buyer told the NZX that it wasn’t in talks with any potential suitors and hadn’t been approached by anyone with an offer.
Gordon said the news swirling around King Salmon’s possible sale was “interesting” and could be feasible because The Australian newspaper seemed to have some detail.
He said it was possible that major shareholders were looking for an exit, but it was “obviously at early stages and a work in progress”.
Chatham Rock Phosphate zoomed up to the top of the index by the end of the day, up 15.6% to 37 cents.
Medicinal cannabis company Greenfern Industries also had a good day and was up 11.1% to 16 cents but Cannasouth – the first medicinal cannabis company to list on the NZX – was down 2.6% to 37 cents.
Personal lender Harmony had the biggest fall on the index today, dropping 8.9% to 82 cents.
The NZ dollar was trading at 62.13 US cents at 3pm in Wellington, down from 62.51 cents yesterday.
Teng said the Kiwi dollar’s fall against the US dollar followed US negative GDP data and central banks’ “determination” to rein in inflation by aggressive rate hikes sparking renewed recession fears – along with recent weakened commodity prices.