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Market close: Shares rise led by yield stocks – TrustPower, Contact, freight firms up

BUSINESSDESK: New Zealand shares rose to a fresh four and a half year high as investors were drawn to stocks with relatively appealing dividend yields.

The gainers were paced by the Warehouse Group and electricity companies TrustPower and Contact Energy.

The NZX 50 Index rose 19.05 points, or 0.45%, to 3923.90. Within the index, 30 stocks rose, 7 fell and 13 were unchanged. Turnover was about $90 million.

"We are seeing continued buying in the yield stocks as investors move money from banks to equities – investors are trying to build income," says Grant Williamson, director at Hamilton Hindin Greene. "There is a fair degree of confidence in the local market and it is pushing prices higher."

The gainers were led by the Warehouse Group, New Zealand's biggest listed retailer, up 3% to $3.09.

TrustPower, the utility controlled by Infratil, increased 2.8% to $8.35. Infratil shares rose 1.4% to $2.20.

Contact Energy, New Zealand's largest listed electricity retailer, was up 2.4% to $5.47.

Freightways, the courier and data management group, rose 1.6% to $4.38. Mainfreight, the international freight and logistics firm, gained 1.5% to $10.56.

Fletcher Building, New Zealand's largest listed construction company, rose 0.13% to $7.48 and the biggest company on the exchange, Telecom, was unchanged on $2.38 apiece.

Shares in cloud-accounting provider Xero were unchanged at $5.35 after the Wellington-based company released its prospectus for a dual-listing on the ASX.

The software firm flagged it may need additional funding to pay for its growth aspirations, which it expects will keep its books in the red for the foreseeable future.

The decline was led by Michael Hill International, New Zealand's only listed jewellery maker, which shed 1.6% to $1.21.

Air New Zealand slipped 1.5% to $1.25.