Market close: NZ shares edge up - Steel & Tube, Fletcher gain
BUSINESSDESK: New Zealand shares rose in a session where an Australian holiday kept trading subdued.
Steel & Tube led the advance of companies exposed to the building industry after Europe's bailout of Spain's banks stoked optimism global growth won't be derailed.
The NZX 50 Index rose 4.77 points, or 0.1%, to 3454.24. Within the index, 17 stocks rose, 17 fell and 16 were unchanged. Turnover was $41.6 million, less than half the recent average daily turnover.
Equity markets rallied across Asia after Spain secured a regional bailout for its banks. Japan's Nikkei 225 Index was up 1.9% in afternoon trading and Hong Kong's Hang Seng rose 2.1%.
Steel & Tube, which sells steel construction materials, rose 2.8% to $2.17. Cavalier, the nation's only listed carpet maker, gained 2.5% to $1.62 and Fletcher, the biggest construction company on the bourse, rose 2.3% to $6.35.
“I thought it would have been more positive today with the Spanish banks getting some money – it has still been reasonably muted so maybe we will play catch up tomorrow when the Australian market opens,” said Mark Lister, head of private wealth research at Craigs Investment Partners.
Skellerup Holdings, which makes rubber goods and milking equipment, rose 1.5% to $1.40 after the company said chief financial officer Guy Keogh will take a new role in its Agri division as manager in charge of dairy International, dairy local and footwear.
He will continue as acting CFO until a replacement is found.
Auckland gas, electricity and telecommunications networks owner Vector fell 1.1% to $2.63 after announcing it had extended its firmly contracted gas, with five petajoules of annual gas contracts signed with three new contracts with Fonterra, New Zealand Steel and power company MightyRiverPower.
Air New Zealand was unchanged at 86.5 cents after chief executive Rob Fyfe was reported by news media to have said the company is on target to meet a $110 million profit improvement from its international network.
Mr Fyfe was speaking at the International Air Transport Association meeting in Beijing, China.
OceanaGold, the operator of the Macraes gold field, was the biggest decliner on the NZX 50, falling 4.3% to $2.70.
“Gold hasn’t been doing as well as you might expect it to, with Spain, Greece and Portugal you’d expect it to be doing better,” Mr Lister said.
Spot gold was last at $US1599.56 an ounce, down from as much as $US1789.40 an ounce in late February.
PGG Wrightson, the nation's biggest rural services company, declined 3.2% to 30 cents after a government report said the biggest risk to its forecasts for export sales growth in the next four years was a stubbornly high kiwi dollar.
Contact Energy, the biggest power company on the bourse, rose 0.6% to $4.73. Telecom, the largest company on the NZX 50, fell 0.2% to $2.43.
Fishing company Sanford rose 1.8% to $3.90. Property for Industry declined 3.4% to $1.14.