The S&P/NZX 50 index fell 22 points or 0.3 percent to 7429.94. Within the index, 19 stocks rose, 11 were unchanged and 20 fell. Turnover was $161 million. Across the Tasman, the S&P/ASX 200 Index was down 0.2 percent.
Trading in New Zealand was “very flow driven” given a dearth of domestic news, said Brad Gordon, investment adviser for Hobson Wealth Partners. China’s activity and spending data for April came in slightly below consensus, which likely weighed on sentiment given New Zealand and Australia’s exposure to that market. Investors may also have been sidelined after North Korea said on Monday it had successfully tested a newly developed mid-to-long range missile on Sunday aimed at verifying the capability to carry a “large scale heavy nuclear warhead.” The missile landed in the sea 97 km (60 miles) south of Russia, Reuters reported. News of a ransomware attack that locked up more than 200,000 computers in over 150 countries likely added to investors’ nerves.
A2 Milk, which has significant exposure to China, shed 2.5 percent to $3.45 while Air New Zealand ended down 1.8 percent at $2.75. Precinct Properties New Zealand shed 2.0 percent to $1.20. Kathmandu Holdings ended down 2.0 percent at $1.99 despite news that retail sales surged in New Zealand in the first quarter. Spark New Zealand fell 1.7 percent to $3.68.
In the other direction, Trustpower added 1.6 percent to $5.10 after it lifted annual profit 37 percent as the electricity generator-retailer’s earnings were bolstered by strong hydro production and favourable prices in Australia, and a full-year contribution from King Country Energy.
Ryman Healthcare, New Zealand’s biggest listed retirement village operator, announced plans for a sixth village in Australia, a $100 million development in the Victorian city of Geelong. The stock added 0.4 percent to $8.62. Goodman Property Trust added 1.2 percent to $1.23 while Infratil added 1.2 percent to $2.985. Both Goodman Property Trust and Infratil may be benefiting as investors turn to high yielding stock in a low interest rate environment, he said.
Ryman Healthcare, Goodman Property Trust and Infratil are all due to report earnings later this week, said Gordon.