Market close: January rally takes NZX 50 to highest since Oct 2007

New Zealand shares rallied again as a "whiff of recovery" emerges about the forthcoming earnings season, amid an accumulation of more promising news about the world economy.

The NZX50 Index shot to 4247.546, its highest since late October 2007, before the global financial crisis and just as New Zealand began heading into a domestic recession which preceded the global events.

That was a gain on the day for the leading stocks index of 47.25 points, or 1.12 percent, on turnover of a respectable $134.40 milllion. Within the index, 33 stocks rose,10 fell, and seven were unchanged.

"We have seen a very sharp rally in a very short period of time," Shane Solly at Mint Asset Management says. "That tends to be what happens when people move asset classes so you get sharp reactions.

"We're certainly catching the whiff of a recovery story out there."

Mint had forecast earlier this month there was "more juice" in the NZX tank, despite a 25 percent rise in the NZX 50 last year.

However, Mr Solly was surprised by how quickly it has happened over January, ahead of the corporate earnings season that kicks off in earnest the week after next.

The impact of dividends and changes to the make-up of the NZX 50 distorts long-term trends, but the index is still watched as a bellwether.

Leading the index higher today was infrastructure investor Infratil, up 4.15 percent to $2.51, its strongest performance this month, followed by childrens clothes maker Pumpkin Patch, up 3.79 percent to $1.37, and Freightways, up 2.69 percent at $4.58.

Retirement home operators Metlifecare and Ryman Healthcare were the next biggest risers, up 2.53 percent to $3.24 and 2.4 percent to $4.69, respectively.

After announcing a return to two dividend payments a year and strong prospects in Tunisia and New Zealand, NZ Oil & Gas was up 2.30 percent to 89 cents.

Oceana Gold was the biggest loser, down 3.38 percent to $3.25, while Fonterra Shareholder Fund units closed at $7.05, down 0.28 percent, after falling as low as $7.01 during the day after a difficult week fending off fears about the discovery of minute traces of a nitrification inhibitor in milk powder.

(BusinessDesk)

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NZ Market Snapshot

Forex

Sym Price Change
USD 0.7850 0.0000 0.00%
AUD 0.8924 0.0000 0.00%
EUR 0.6196 0.0000 0.00%
GBP 0.4880 0.0000 0.00%
HKD 6.0917 0.0000 0.00%
JPY 84.8970 0.0000 0.00%

Commods

Commodity Price Change Time
Gold Index 1231.3 -0.710 2014-10-24T00:
Oil Brent 86.1 -0.510 2014-10-24T00:
Oil Nymex 81.0 -1.020 2014-10-24T00:
Silver Index 17.1 0.024 2014-10-24T00:

Indices

Symbol Open High Last %
NZX 50 5292.8 5344.4 5341.7 -0.15%
NASDAQ 4459.5 4486.3 4452.8 0.69%
DAX 9008.6 9044.9 9047.3 -0.66%
DJI 16677.0 16811.7 16677.9 0.76%
FTSE 6419.1 6419.1 6419.1 -0.47%
HKSE 23311.9 23352.6 23333.2 -0.13%
NI225 15354.4 15377.0 15139.0 1.01%