23 Sep 2014

Dollar down, but shares stronger

6:16 pm on 23 September 2014

New Zealand shares were slightly stronger today, the benchmark Top 50 Index gaining 5 points to 5241.

A portfolio manager at Devon Funds Management, Nick Dravitzki, said investors had reservations about Kathmandu's annual results.

The outdoor clothing company said net profit fell 4.5 percent, but was near the top end of the company's guidance in August.

"Kathmandu reported their results for the full year to the end of July. Their numbers have come out being towards the upper end of expectations.

"However, the stock has sold off a little bit today and I think partly that's driven by the fact that the way they got to their numbers really reminds investors of how important those short-term sale periods are.

"June sales were more than 15 percent down on the previous year, whereas July was much, much higher, and also there was higher cost growth than expected. Those two things have softened market perception of the result.

"With the election result over the weekend, the risks that the structure of the electricity market would change dramatically has obviously been taken off the table for at least the next three years.

"So as a consequence yesterday, all of the power companies benefited - some more than others - and some of the ones that didn't quite get the bounce yesterday, particularly Genesis, has had a strong day today. Meridian is also continuing to rise a bit today as well."

Kathmandu shares fell 5 cents to $3.10, Genesis gained 2 cents to $1.99 and Meridian's instalment receipts rose 2 cents to $1.54.

The New Zealand dollar fell a third of a cent against the US dollar today, dragged down by its Australian counterpart as weak iron ore prices weigh on that currency.

The head of external foreign exchange sales at ASB Bank, Tim Kelleher, said the Kiwi is consolidating near 81 US cents, but is likely to fall below that key support level.

At 5.20pm today, the New Zealand dollar was trading at 81.24 US cents, 91.22 Australian cents, 49.59 British pence 0.6322 euro, 88.37 yen and 4.99 renminbi.