New Zealand’s share market ended the very last trading session of the year in the red with The Warehouse topping the news of the day after the retailer told the market that its biggest trading quarter of the year had failed to meet expectations.

Today, the S&P/NZX 50 index fell 65.2 points, or 0.57%, to 11,473.24. Turnover was a very light $42.8 million. The trading session ended in the early afternoon today before the New Year’s public holiday.

SPI Asset Management managing partner Stephen Innes said in a note this morning that overseas investors were “heaving a sigh of relief” on the penultimate trading day of 2022 due to stocks recovering some of the losses that international markets had seen since Christmas.

“Considering the market news was sparse, the shift higher has the hallmarks of a dead cat bounce,” he said, referring to share prices seeing a temporary recovery after a considerable fall.

Although corporate news was starting to trickle back in after the post-Christmas haze, the most significant mover in NZ’s market today was The Warehouse.

The retailer saw its shares drop 7% immediately after the NZX opened this morning over the news that total group sales for The Warehouse’s second financial quarter – the busiest time of year for the retailer – were down 5.5% due to cost-of-living pressures pinching consumers' wallets.

The Warehouse ended the shortened trading session down 7.1% to $2.60. 

Cinema technology provider Vista Group announced to the market this morning that it had entered into a trade agreement with London-listed Cineworld Group as part of the UK company’s bankruptcy process.

Cineworld Group had agreed to pay certain pre-chapter 11 amounts owing to Vista Group and committed to continuing to use Vista’s software and services under its existing agreements.

Back in September, Cineworld Group – which used to operate more than 750 cinema sites across 10 countries – filed for chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code to cut nearly US$9 billion (NZ$14b) in debt and leases.

Vista Group rose 3.4% to $1.52 by early afternoon.

Auckland International Airport was down 2.7% to $7.81 and traded over $8m in value over the course of the day.

Other stocks that traded a lot of value today and drove NZ’s market down were telco Spark, which edged down 0.2% to $5.40 and traded over $4m, and energy retailer Contact Energy, which traded over $3.3m today and edged down 1.8% to $7.71.

Healthcare manufacturer and index heavyweight Fisher & Paykel Healthcare did push back some of the market’s losses by lifting 1% to $22.60. 

This was helped by the news of China reopening and rising covid cases creating a bigger demand for respiratory care products.

Retirement village stocks were mixed today, with Ryman Healthcare down 1.3% to $5.34 and Oceania Healthcare falling 2.6% to 76 cents. However, Arvida Group went in the opposite direction and lifted 0.9% to $1.14.

The NZ dollar was trading at 63.34 US cents at 1:30pm in Wellington, edging up slightly from 63.25 US cents at 3pm yesterday.