Markets everywhere are dragging themselves closer to the Christmas finish line while the New Zealand dollar fell almost 400 basis points against the Japanese yen after the Bank of Japan (BoJ) doubled its 10-year yield cap.

CMC Markets analyst Tina Teng said this morning that the BoJ’s decision to double its 10-year yield cap to 0.5% from 0.25% yesterday caused a “surge” in the Japanese yen overnight.

But although it put some pressure on the US dollar, it was the NZ dollar that fell almost 400 basis points from 87.17 to 83.37 Japanese yen after the yield cap news came out.

US markets weren’t affected as much as investors feared over the news and it was only the Nasdaq stock market index that ended the day in the red in the US.

Closer to home, the S&P/NZX 50 index rose 47.2 points or 0.4%, to 11,452.05. Turnover was $96.9 million.

Peter McIntyre from Craig’s IP said NZ’s market had managed to get “some lift off” today but was starting to well and truly settle down for Christmas.

Christchurch-based listed engineering company MHM Automation has signed a conditional agreement to purchase Wyma Engineering. The firm announced the deal to the market this morning and has valued the horticultural equipment company at about $60m.

MHM Automation had one of the best days on the index, jumping past 9% earlier in the afternoon and ending the day up 8.4% to 90 cents.

Global dairy prices didn’t get a Christmas boost overnight and went into full-on grinch mode instead, falling nearly 4% at the final auction of the year.

The Global Dairy Trade (GDT) index fell by 3.8% to an average of US$3,493 (NZ$5,504) per metric tonne – ending what has been a volatile year for dairy.

Dairy stock reactions were mixed across NZ’s market today – A2 Milk benefitted the most and was up 3.2% to $7.10 while shares in Fonterra Shareholders' Fund Units edged down by 0.3% to $3.24. 

Synlait Milk also rose 2.3% to $3.57.

In a report this afternoon, ASB senior wealth economist Chris Tennent-Brown said the GDT event had ended on a weaker note, with whole milk prices (down 4%) in particular being “disappointing”.

“We will review our milk price forecasts over the coming weeks, incorporating both the recent price movements and latest developments in key markets – particularly China,” he wrote.

Other big news to hit the market today was electric utility firm Vector announcing it was set to sell a 50% stake in its NZ and Australian metering business, Vector Metering.

The stake is being sold to private equity group QIC Private Capital (QIC) and the deal is expected to generate proceeds of $1.74 billion, including about $980m of acquisition debt. It also values the business at $2.51b, compared to a book value of $650m.

McIntyre said Vector shareholders would be happy that the deal would reduce Vector’s debt which would mean it would be less likely for the cost of that debt to go to them.

Vector was up 1% to $4.25.

Retirement village developer Arvida Group also had another good day, up 6.4% to $1.16. Arvida has been consistently near the top of the leaderboard this week.

Good Spirits Hospitality is putting nine of its bar and restaurant venues up for sale in the new year, as part of the fallout from covid shutdowns.

This was even after the group reported net losses of $6.6m for the year to June, on the heels of a $5.8m loss in 2021.

The company rose 5% to 4.2 cents – but only traded $594 across the whole day.

Today, the NZ dollar was trading at 63.37 US cents at 3pm in Wellington, down from 63.49 US cents yesterday.