Monday 11 December 2017
Read Investor News for weekday coverage of the economic, market and political news headlines of relevance to investors. These headlines are sourced daily by our Private Wealth Research Team.
The NZX wrap up
The local sharemarket finished last week on a positive note with the NZX 50 index rising 0.76% on Friday on light turnover. For the week the index was up 0.56%, its fourth consecutive weekly rise.
Xero was the day’s best performer, up 3.0% to $30.90 after five consecutive days of falls, NZX was up 2.75% to $1.12 and Z Energy rose 2.62% to $7.82.
At the other end of the index, Summerset had the largest decline on Friday, falling 1.3% to $5.18, Comvita fell 0.7% to $7.45 and Sanford dipped 0.6% to close at $8.25.
For the week, Scales (+10.9%), EBOS Group (+4.4%) and Investore Property (+3.1%) were the strongest performers in the NZX 50, while Synlait Milk (-7.6%), a2 Milk (-4.1%) and Kathmandu (-3.7%) were last week’s laggards.
The NZ dollar was mixed against major trading partners, rising 0.5% against the Australian dollar to finish above A$0.91 but slipping 0.8% against the US dollar as the market prepares for another rate hike in the US. The currency fell slightly against the British pound and increased marginally against the euro.
This Thursday the 2018 Budget Policy Statement and Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update 2017 (HYEFU) is due. This will be of strong interest to financial markets, as it will provide some more specific insights into the Governments plans in terms of spending and borrowing. The Minister of Finance, Grant Robertson, will reveal detail on the fiscal costs of the 100-day plan.
Australian sharemarket gains
The benchmark ASX 200 ended Friday higher, up 0.28% as the telecom sector surged and higher oil prices continued to lift stocks within the energy sector.
The UK and European Union have agreed to three key issues surrounding the Brexit divorce settlement. This clears the way for the next phase of negotiations, which involves trade talks next year.
November jobs report strong
US employers added 228,000 jobs in November, surpassing the 200,000 that had been expected, while the unemployment rate remained at 4.1%, indicating the economy is running at full steam.
Fed Reserve meeting ahead
A rate hike of 0.25%, which would take the Fed Funds Rate target range to 1.25-1.50%, is virtually fully priced in (98%) by the market for Thursday’s upcoming meeting.
The ECB meets too
The Fed meeting will get all the attention this week, although the European Central Bank (ECB) meeting on Thursday could be more interesting.
On the NZX this week
Locally, we have annual meetings for Sanford and Hallenstein Glasson on Wednesday as well as a third quarter sales update from Restaurant Brands on Thursday.
NZX 50 changes
Software provider, Xero, is scheduled to leave the NZX 50 index effective on the market close, this Friday 15 December, replaced with Pushpay, a mobile payments specialist.
CBOE set to start trading Bitcoin
The exchange will start trading US bitcoin futures at noon. This will not only make it easier for institutional investors to buy bitcoins but also to short the electronic currency.
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