New Zealand’s main share index dipped ahead of major news this week, including NZ economic indicators, US inflation data and the Federal Reserve’s last policy decision for the year.
The European Central Bank (ECB) and Bank of England (BoE) are also reporting cash rate hikes this week, with the consensus that it’ll be 50 basis point (bp) hikes from all three central banks.
On the local data front, there is the release of the government's half-year economic and fiscal update, the November Real Estate Institute of NZ housing market statistics and the gross domestic product (GDP) from the year’s third quarter.
The S&P/NZX 50 index fell 89.58 points, or 0.8%, to 11,506.45. Turnover was $105.7 million.
Grant Davies, an investment adviser at Hamilton Hindin Greene, said the Fed’s decision was the “elephant in the room” this week and was the number one financial event that investors were focussing on.
“But there’s a lot of news to look forward to this week,” he told BusinessDesk.
Very little stock-moving corporate news came out today, but there was a small flurry of departures and appointments announced.
Mainfreight’s former New Zealand company manager was appointed chief executive of rival logistics group Move. Evans had been at Mainfreight for 35 years and spent the past six years as the NZ company manager for the business.
By early evening, Mainfreight was down 0.6% to $68.55 while Move Logistics rose 2% to $1.
Boyd Williams, Synlait’s director of people and culture, has resigned to relocate to Australia. The milk company said this morning that Boyd had seen Synlait's workforce grow from 400 employees to more than its current 1,200 since he joined in 2016.
Synlait had one of the better days on the exchange today and jumped 3.1% to $3.66. A2 Milk also edged up 0.3% to $7.02.
Aged care provider Oceania Healthcare announced that its group general manager of clinical and care services Frances Hughes would step down next March to pursue a career in politics.
Hughes was announced yesterday as the National party’s candidate for Mana in the upcoming 2023 general election.
Oceania Healthcare was down 1.3% to 79 cents by the end of the day. Ryman Healthcare fell even further, 2.7% to $6.23.
NZX shares were flat at $1.23 each after the exchange said that Sarah Miller, Serko’s general counsel and company secretary, will be joining the NZX as a future director. Miller also used to be general counsel corporate and group company secretary at Telecom NZ (now Spark).
Shares in Westpac Banking Corp were also flat at $24.80 each after announcing earlier today that its “preliminary discussions” with Tyro Payments to acquire 100% of the company’s issued share capital had ended.
“Westpac has now undertaken due diligence on Tyro and has decided that submitting an offer is not in the best interests of Westpac shareholders at this time,” the bank said.
ANZ Bank was down 0.3% to $25.
Today, the NZ dollar was trading at 63.87 US cents at 3pm in Wellington, up from 63.75 US cents on Friday.
BNZ Markets head of research Stephen Toplis wrote in a report today that all the events in the financial calendar this week offered plenty of event risk to drive currencies.
“Our view is that the NZD will struggle to appreciate further this year and is likely to show signs of consolidation over the next month or two,” he said.
“A return to an appreciating path can revert sometime next year as the USD falls further.”