Market close: NZ shares flat, Serko has big fall

Falling bond yields have provided some stimulus to the New Zealand sharemarket and growth stocks, though online travel provider Serko had a nasty fall.

The S&P/NZX 50 Index was reasonably flat, closing at 12,752.51 – up 4.7 points or 0.04 per cent for the day. There were 73 gainers and 71 decliners over the whole market, on solid volume of 54.73 million share transactions worth $202.86 million.

Dan Stratful, investment adviser with Forsyth Barr, said the fall in bond yields has likely prompted the market rally over the past month.

“We know inflation is increasing and interest rate rises are coming, but the bond yields might have moved ahead too fast. The market needs to learn to deal with inflation. At present, the cyclical stocks are under-performing and growth shares are back in vogue – the technology stocks have been rallying, particularly in the United States,” Stratful said.

The New Zealand 10 Years Government Bond yield, now at 1.567 per cent, has fallen more than 17 basis points in the past week and more 21 basis points in the past month.

The US 10 Year Treasury Bond yield has reached its lowest level in four months, falling 0.07 percentage points this week to 1.36 per cent as investors unwound bets for tighter monetary policy. The yield hit a high of 1.77 per cent this year.

Market leader stock Fisher and Paykel Healthcare was down 14c to $29.98; Freightways was clipped 18c to $12.53; Mercury Energy fell 12.5c or 1.86 per cent to $6.585; and Infratil decreased 10c to $7.70.

Leading retirement village operator Ryman Healthcare, which lately has been on a topsy-turvy journey, fell 24c or 1.781 per cent to $13.24.

Scales Corporation lost ground, falling 6c to $4.75; Tourism Holdings was down 5c or 2 per cent to $2.45; Restaurant Brands declined 35c or 2.3 per cent to $14.85; Rakon decreased 3c or 3.06 per cent to 95c; and DGL Group shed 5c or 3.05 per cent to $1.59.

Global marketer a2 Milk continued its recovery, rising 20c or 2.69 per cent to $7.63, and Synlait was up 6c to $3.87. Spark is having a solid run, up 6c to $4.915; Meridian Energy gained 7c to $5.28; and Trustpower increased 9c to $8.09.

Other gainers were Port of Tauranga, up 3c to $6.94; T&G Global rising 7c or 2.4 per cent to $2.99; and Scott Technology gaining 6c or 2.26 per cent to $2.72.

Property companies Goodman rose 4c to $2.44; Precinct was up 3c to $1.71; and Property for Industry gained 2.5c to $2.925.

AFT Pharmaceuticals increased 4c to $4.52 after telling the market its licensee Ever Pharma has launched its intravenous pain relief medicine Maxigesic into the German and Austrian markets.

Cancer diagnostics company Pacific Edge said a clinical paper validating the performance of its fourth Cxbladder Resolve test has been accepted for publication in the Journal of Urology. Cxbladder Resolve identifies patients with a high-impact tumour, and Pacific Edge’s share price rose 3c or 2.5 per cent to $1.23.

Financial technology firm PaySauce climbed 3.5c or 11.85 per cent to 33c after detailing increased customer and revenue growth. At the end of June, PaySauce’s processing fee revenue increased 44 per cent to $581,000 year-on-year; total recurring revenue was up 36 per cent to $612,00; payroll business customers grew 39 per cent to 3933; and total employees paid through its system rose 44 per cent to 20,159.

AMP is selling AMP Capital’s Global Equities and Fixed Income to Macquarie Asset Management for A$185m ($197m). Global Equities has A$60 billion assets under management, and AMP’s share price was up 1c to $1.21.

Radius Residential Care went into a trading halt after announcing a $50m capital raise to fund the land and buildings of four aged care facilities it operates but doesn’t own. Radius last traded at 90c.

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