Even though Australia had its financial out-of-office on due to its increasingly controversial Australia Day public holiday, New Zealand’s market still managed to keep busy today as it chewed over yesterday’s inflation update.
The S&P/NZX 50 index rose 29 points, or 0.2%, to 12,023.46. Across the main board, 47 stocks fell and 80 rose. Turnover was $82.6 million.
Devon Funds head of retail Greg Smith said the tech-heavy Nasdaq in the US had fallen 0.4%, with Microsoft’s shares down more than 2% at one point thanks to weaker earnings guidance and Alphabet falling 3%.
“With pandemic tailwinds easing across the technology sector, growth is slowing. Although it remains in positive territory for now,” he said.
Tech stocks in NZ’s domestic market today were more mixed, however. Rakon was down 1% to $1.04, Serko up 6.6% to $2.59, Scott Technology was down 0.7% to $2.81 and fleet company Eroad was up 1.1% to 89 cents, with ikeGPS up 5.4% to 98 cents.
Shares in the Grant Baker-chaired beauty firm Me Today shot to the top of the leaderboard today, jumping 27.3% – in very light trading – to 1.4 cents.
“WET, WET, WET!” began Mercury NZ's quarterly operational update this morning. The energy retailer said the almost wettest-ever December quarter in its Waikato catchment had meant its hydro generation rose 38% compared with the same three months of 2021.
The energy retailer found hydro generation was up by 352-gigawatt hours (GWh) to 1,281GWh, while the company’s hydro spill was 386GWh for the quarter and 675GWh for the six months ended December to keep lakes within operating levels.
The stock was up 0.4% to $5.955 today.
SkyCity Entertainment Group rose 0.4% to $2.52 after informing the market that it wants to appoint Sydney-based David Attenborough as a non-executive director.
Attenborough’s appointment is subject to regulatory approval in each of the gaming jurisdictions in which the company operates. If approved, he will join the board on March 1.
Synlait Milk appointed Abby Ye its China president and director of food service. Ye will be based in Shanghai and join Synlait’s executive leadership team on March 1. Synlait rose 0.3% to $3.46 by early evening.
Elsewhere, Seafood company Sanford fell 3.3% to $4.16.
Hugh Stevens also resigned as chief executive of NZX subsidiary Smartshares, although he will stay on for “a few months” to ensure a smooth transition to his successor when one is appointed.
Stevens said he was “confident” that Smartshares would go from strength to strength in the future.
Today, the NZ dollar was at 64.80 US cents by 3pm in Wellington, barely budging from the 64.77 cents at the same time yesterday.