Market close: NZ shares rise – Telecom, Fletcher gain
BUSINESSDESK: New Zealand shares traded near a three-month high, paced by the biggest company on the bourse, Telecom, and on hopes of better earnings from the country's largest construction company, Fletcher Building.
The NZX 50 index rose 33.46 points, or 0.9%, to 3564.11. Within the index, 34 stocks rose, six fell and 10 were unchanged. Turnover was $79 million.
Telecom rose 1.7% to $2.70, while Fletcher gained 2.2% to $6.19.
"Telecom and Fletcher are two of the stocks attracting the most attention," said Mark Lister, head of private wealth research at Craigs Investment Partners.
"Telecom continues to be popular with international investors and Fletcher is enjoying positive sentiment ahead of their results and on better Australian data."
Figures today showed retail sales growing in Australia at a faster-than-expected clip and figures this week have showed the housing market isn’t stumbling as much as feared.
Chorus, the telecommunications network operator spun out of Telecom last year, rose 1% to $3.11. The company today confirmed that about 57,000 customers are able to connect to its ultrafast broadband service.
Mr Lister said higher dividend stocks "continue to be strong", with shares in Vital Healthcare Property Trust, the health clinic investor, up 1.6% to $1.26, while courier and data management company Freightways advanced 0.8% to $3.88.
NZX, the stock exchange regulator, led the gains, up 3.5% to $1.19.
The declines were led by Telstra Corp, Australia's biggest phone company, down 1.9% to $5.15.
Kathmandu, the outdoor clothing retailer, fell 1.9%to $1.56. The stock has shed about 9% so far this year.
Goodman Fielder, the food ingredients manufacturer whose brands include Edmonds baking products and Vogel’s bread, declined 1.5% to 64 cents.
Turners & Growers fell 1.2% to $1.68 after the fresh produce company said its first-half net profit rose 2.2% to $7.1 million in the six months ended June 30. Further details of the results will be released to the NZX by August 17, as “required by listing rule 10.4”.