Coronavirus outbreak: NZ share market drops as global indexes fall

New Zealand's share market has dropped 3.2 percent on Tuesday, over fears the coronavirus outbreak is going to hit the economy. 

The fall follows an overnight drop to global stockmarkets due to heightened coronavirus fears.  

The US S&P 500 and UK FTSE 100 each fell by 3.4 percent, and the DAX 30 in Germany and CAC 40 index in France each fell by 4 percent.  

Mohandeep Singh, senior research analyst at Craigs Investment Partners, confirmed that New Zealand share prices have been hit in the last 24 hours following drops in the US and elsewhere.

"All of our export-exposed names are down: as we speak, the NZX 50 is down 3.2 percent," Singh said.

On Tuesday morning, Air New Zealand shares were down by 2.33 percent, Auckland Airport by 2.22 percent, A2 Milk by 3.65 percent, Port of Tauranga by 4.61 percent and Tourism Holdings by 4.41 percent.

Due to provide a market update on Friday, Port of Tauranga is New Zealand's largest port and handles a large volume of exports, including logs and forestry-related products.

"Given that half of [New Zealand] log exports go to China, and shutdowns of cities and ports over there, everything going through the port is exposed," Singh said.

"On 3 January 2020, Port of Tauranga was trading at $8.00 and it's now trading at $6.60, so has come off 17 percent since the start of the year."

Auckland International Airport was trading at $8.75 at the start of 2020 and is currently $8.16 - down 7 percent. 

"Auckland International Airport reported its half-year result last Thursday and only revised its full year profit guidance by -2 percent: this is probably less of a downgrade than some may have been expecting and is likely to be part of the reason its held up well this year," Singh said.

The share price index for agribusiness company and apple producer Scales Corporation Limited, has come off a much larger 18.5 percent.

"About 30 percent of their revenue is from Asia and about half of the revenue of the 'Mr Apple' brand comes from [there]," Singh said.

As the virus continues to spread, with a spike of cases reported in Italy, GDP forecasts are starting to be downgraded as a result of the disruption.

"It's being reflected in equity markets and it's exactly what you'd expect to happen.

"In the last quarter of 2018, the US market was down almost 20 percent [so] investors are used to these bouts of volatility," Singh said.

However, coronavirus is hard to quantify in terms of how wide it might spread and how long the impact will be.

"This is what's making people nervous," Singh added.

NZX 50 companies not directly impacted by coronavirus include companies in the electricity sector and listed property companies.

"The overall index is somewhat insulated because of the large number of companies which are largely domestic focused and don't have direct exposure to Asia," Singh said.