Market close: Rising shares led by Michael Hill, OceanaGold

(BusinessDesk) New Zealand shares rose led by Michael Hill International after it lifted first-quarter revenue and OceanaGold as the start of its new gold mine, Didipio, in the Philippines looms.

The NZX 50 Index rose 22.86 points, or 0.6%, to 3904.85. Within the index, 25 stocks rose, 17 fell and eight were unchanged. Turnover was about $105 million.

Jewellery maker Michael Hill rose 8.9% to $1.23. Shares in the Brisbane-based company jumped after it lifted the company's first quarter sales increased by 14% to $116.4 million on improved trading in North American and Australia. The stock has gained about 32% this year.

"They seem to have some momentum so if they can continue to deliver what the market is looking for they will push higher," says Mark Lister, head of private wealth at Craigs Investment Partners.

"For all the retailers it's good to see sales – we will be interested to see the next result and whether that translates into earnings."

OceanaGold Corp shares rose 3.6% to reach a 22-month high of $4.07 after the company reported it has started on preparations to process ore at its new gold mine in the Philippines.

Fletcher Building, New Zealand's construction company, up 3% to $7.47. Skellerup Holdings, New Zealand's largest industrial rubber products supplier, gained 3.6% to $1.75. Mainfreight, the biggest transport and logistics company listed on the NZX 50 Index, climbed 0.1% to $10.40.

Kathmandu, the outdoor clothing and equipment retailer, rose 2.3% to $1.79, while Pumpkin Patch, the children's clothing retailer, rose 0.9% to $1.16.

Warehouse Group, the largest retailer on the NZX, fell 2% to $3.

"People do put the Warehouse in a different basket," Mr Lister says. "It has stumbled back and the there are questions over where their next leg of growth will come from."

Goodman Fielder, the food ingredients manufacturer whose brands include Edmonds baking products and Vogel's bread, was down 0.6% to 64 cents.

Fisher and Paykel Appliances fell 1.2%to $1.235. On Thursday, Grant Samuel valued FPA at between $1.28 and $1.57 a share in its independent valuation report, above Haier's $1.20-a-share offer.

"It is still above the offer price which is important – the market doesn't think the offer is good enough," Mr Lister says. "People are playing a waiting game now and digesting that information and reading between the lines about what Haier has said publicly."

"The market has a feeling they need to go higher." 

Shares in Ecoya fell 3% to $1.20. The scented candle and skincare products maker will stay under the guidance of its biggest shareholder after Stephen Sinclair from Business Bakery was appointed chief executive.

Wellington Drive Technologies rose 3% to 16 cents after the Auckland-based manufacturer of highly efficient electric motors, announced it has formed a partnership with PAX Scientific to develop low-noise, high-performance fans for commercial refrigeration.

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NZ Market Snapshot

Forex

Sym Price Change
USD 0.7767 -0.0011 -0.14%
AUD 0.9523 0.0007 0.07%
EUR 0.6327 -0.0001 -0.02%
GBP 0.4959 -0.0005 -0.10%
HKD 6.0235 -0.0090 -0.15%
JPY 92.6980 0.1530 0.17%

Commods

Commodity Price Change Time
Gold Index 1198.3 8.880 2014-12-18T00:
Oil Brent 59.3 -1.910 2014-12-18T00:
Oil Nymex 54.4 -2.430 2014-12-18T00:
Silver Index 15.9 0.010 2014-12-18T00:

Indices

Symbol Open High Last %
NZX 50 5518.5 5545.0 5518.5 0.17%
NASDAQ 4712.4 4748.4 4644.3 2.24%
DAX 9901.3 9901.3 9811.1 0.47%
DJI 17367.8 17778.4 17356.9 2.43%
FTSE 6466.0 6521.7 6466.0 0.70%
HKSE 23158.3 23189.6 22832.2 1.25%
NI225 17511.0 17621.4 17210.0 2.39%