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Market close: New Zealand shares having worst January in 14 years

There was no respite for the New Zealand sharemarket, which closed the week down another 1 per cent and is having its worst January in 14 years.

The S&P/NZX 50 Index’s trading graph line was very familiar. The index fell steadily all day and finished at 12,348, dropping 149.09 points or 1.19 per cent.

The index fell nearly 3.5 per cent this week and has plunged 5.35 per cent for the month – and dipping towards January 2008 when the index was down 9.2 per cent. The market lost 6.9 per cent in February last year.

There were 96 decliners and 43 gainers across the market and trading improved with 38.64 million shares worth $172.11 million changing hands. Trading was boosted by the sale of 7.09 million Meridian shares worth $32.93m. Meridian was down 1c to $4.64.

Matt Goodson, managing director of Salt Funds Management, said there was no rhyme or reason for some of the individual falls. “No-one is home on the buy side, and it was another day of relative broad-based selling on low volumes.”

He said the real change out there is that markets are realising central banks have to take away the punch bowl and tighten monetary policy to combat inflation.

The local market followed Australia down, with the S&P/ASX 200 Index having fallen 2.3 per cent to 7173.5 points at 5.45pm NZ time, and Wall Street was again weak and rattled overnight. Netflix fell more than 20 per cent in after-hours trading on slowing subscriber growth.

At home, market leader Fisher and Paykel Healthcare was down $1.05 or 3.45 per cent to $29.35; EBOS Group declined 95c or 2.43 per cent to $38.15; Mainfreight shed 47c to $87.13; and a2 Milk, which had been steady so far this year, tumbled 24c or 4.2 per cent to $5.48.

The retirement village operators were mixed. Ryman Healthcare gained 8c to $11.16, Summerset Group Holdings was up 7c to $12.50; Arvida Group decreased 4c or 2.16 per cent to $1.81; and Oceania Healthcare fell 4c or 3.23 per cent to $1.20.

Infratil was down 23c or 2.86 per cent to $7.82; Tourism Holdings declined 8c or 2.83 per cent to $2.75; Rakon fell another 4c or 2.21 per cent to $1.77; Pacific Edge decreased 5c or 3.94 per cent to $1.22; and Heartland Group Holdings was down 9c or 3.59 per cent to $2.42.

Napier Port fell 7c or 2.36 per cent to near its listing price of $2.89; AMP was down 5c or 4.81 per cent to 99c; Genesis Energy declined 7.5c or 2.61 per cent to $2.81; and AFT Pharmaceuticals decreased 13c or 3.02 per cent to $4.17.

New listings Ventia Services Group picked up 9c or 3.81 per cent to $2.45, and Winton Land was up 6c to $3.79.

Sky Network Television increased 5c or 2.06 per cent to $2.48; Move Logistics collected 5c or 3.13 per cent to $1.65; Scott Technology rose 10c or 3.08 per cent to $3.35; NZME gained 3c or 2.5 per cent to $1.23; and Rua Bioscience was up 2c or 4 per cent to 52c.

TradeWindow rose 7c or 3 per cent to $2.40 after telling the market it has formed a partnership with Mastercard to boost cash flow for transtasman businesses using TradeWindow’s transport and logistics software platform.

Meal kit company My Food Bag increased net sales revenue 15 per cent to $52.1m in the third quarter and deliveries were up 9 per cent to 388,000 compared with the previous corresponding period. My Food Bag has 71,085 active customers and its share price decreased 1c to $1.13.

Goodson said My Food Bag’s demand for its product is fine but it is facing significant cost pressures.

Vista Group is establishing its management software with Cinesa Cinemas at 42 sites in Spain and Portugal, and Vista’s share price gained 3c to $2.22.

ArborGen Holdings has lowered its full-year operating earnings (ebitda) forecast to US$9.5m-US$10.5m ($14.10m-$15.58m), from $US11.3m-$11.7m because of a shortfall in sales of lower margin open pollinated seedlings. Orders for mass control pollinated seedlings are running 30 per cent ahead of the previous year. ArborGen’s share price was down 1.5c or 5.88 per cent to 24c.

ikeGPS Group, up 3c or 3.66 per cent to 85c, has gained a $900,000 contract with a North American electric utility and ongoing software revenue will be about $200,000 a year.

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