Market close: NZ shares rise amid global rally, Fletcher up
BUSINESSDESK: New Zealand shares rose for a third day after a global rally as investors took heart Europe will take every step possible to address its burgeoning debt crisis.
Fletcher Building paced gainers in anticipation of next week's release of the plan to rebuild Christchurch's central city.
The NZX 50 index rose 15.55 points, or 0.4%, to 3501.29, gaining 1.1% on the week. Within the index, 29 stocks gained, 12 fell and nine were unchanged. Turnover was a smaller-than-normal $75.9 million.
The local bourse followed the region-wide rally, with Australia's S&P/ASX 200 index up 1.3% in afternoon trading, Japan's Nikkei 225 index up 1% and Hong Kong's Hang Seng index rose 1.8%.
Fletcher, New Zealand's biggest construction company, rose 1% to $5.96, and is up 1% this week. That gain comes ahead of the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority's blueprint for Christchurch central business district rebuild, which is scheduled to be released next week.
"Once that comes out it sets the basis foundation for how the city will look," said Rickey Ward, head of equities at Tyndall Investment Management. "That's a key piece of information" and will let people start spending money on the rebuild, he said.
OceanaGold Corp led the index higher, up 5.3% to $2.58 after reporting an 82% slump in second-quarter earnings, reflecting smaller margins and falling gold prices. Still, that was an improvement from the first quarter when the gold miner sank in the red, and it posted a first-half loss of $US3.1 million.
Property investors gained as investors continued to seek better returns than on term deposits in banks. Argosy Property rose 1.2% to 88 cents, DNZ Property gained 0.7% to $1.51, AMP NZ Office increased 0.5% to 98 cents and Goodman Property Trust advanced 0.5% to $1.015.
Mr Ward said they "provide a level of income for investors" where interest rates are low, but look over-priced.
Xero climbed 3.3% to $5.37 after indicating greater emphasis on the Australian market at its annual meeting yesterday, which included a potential dual-listing across the Tasman. The cloud-based accounting software firm fell 3.7% on the week.
Goodman Fielder rose 3.3% to 62 cents, while retailer Kathmandu gained 2.7% to $1.50.
Skellerup was the biggest decliner on the index, falling 1.4% to $1.44 and was unchanged on the week. Telecom fell 1% to $2.545, while Chorus fell 0.3% to $3.11.
Fisher & Paykel Healthcare, which makes breathing respirators, fell 0.5% to $1.95 on bigger than normal turnover of $4.5 million.
Air New Zealand was unchanged at 90 cents after the Commerce Commission said two more airlines settled in the long-running air cargo cartel case it is pursuing.
New Zealand's national carrier is one of five airlines still defending the claim. The airline also slashed its domestic charges in a bid to fill 320,000 seats per year.
Investment firm Hellaby Holdings was unchanged at $3 after appointing ex-Frucor Beverages boss Mark Cowsill was named as a new addition to the board.
NZAX-listed Chatham Rock Phosphate climbed 4.2% to 25 cents after global dredging firm Royal Boskalis will take as much as 20% of the local minerals explorer.