MARKET CLOSE: NZX 50 extends record; Auckland Airport, Air NZ, Fletcher rise

- New Zealand's NZX 50 Index extended gains to a new record as investors were drawn to a market with robust economic growth. Auckland International Airport, Air New Zealand and Fletcher Building paced gainers.

The NZX 50 Index rose 39.829 points, or about 0.8 percent, to 5073.090. Within the index, 21 stocks rose, seven fell and 14 were unchanged. Turnover was $148.1 million.

The country's busiest gateway Auckland Airport rose 1.9 percent to record high of $3.85. National carrier Air New Zealand increased 2.2 percent to $1.855. Fletcher Building, the country's largest listed company, gained 1.1 percent to $9.65 while cloud-based accounting software company Xero climbed 1.5 percent to $42.62.

"The local market is really rallying on expectations on what is going to be improving economic growth," said Grant Williamson director at Hamilton Hindin Greene.

There was a "relief rally on international markets" overnight after Russian President Vladimir Putin said his country would not invade Ukraine, Williamson said. Local gains were helped by figures showing stronger than expected Australian economic growth.

Restaurant Brands New Zealand rose 2.1 percent to $2.86. The nation's largest food operator said fourth-quarter sales rose at a faster pace reflecting the contribution of the Carl's Jr. burger chain.

Z Energy rose 2.1 percent to $3.81. The petrol station company will save $50 million on new storage facilities after cutting a deal with BP and operators of the Marsden Point oil refinery.

Ryman Healthcare rose 1.6 percent to $8.19, extending a six day rally as investors returned to the stock after a month of profit taking, Williamson said.

Telecom rose 0.2 percent to $2.49. Sky Network Television increased 0.03 percent to $6.38, while casino operator SkyCity Entertainment Group gained 0.5 percent to $3.95.

Warehouse Group, New Zealand's largest listed retailer, lifted 0.3 percent to $3.61 and clothing chain Hallenstein Glasson increased 0.6 percent to $3.13. Outdoor apparel retailer Kathmandu Holdings fell 0.8 percent to $3.43.

Partially privatised electricity company Mighty River Power gained 0.5 percent to $2.065, while fellow state controlled energy provider Meridian Energy was unchanged at $1.095. Contact Energy rose 0.6 percent to $5.23.

NZX fell 0.3 percent to $1.27. New Zealand's stock market operator said activity on the bourse grew for the 18th month in a row in February, though transaction value was lower than the same month a year earlier.

Outside of the index, Renaissance Corp climbed 7 percent to 15 cents after it said it had found a buyer for its Yoobee Apple computer stores, the last of its remaining businesses.

Rakon rose 5 percent to 21 cents. The company, which makes crystal oscillators used in smart phones, was publicly censured and fined $30,000 by the stock market's disciplinary tribunal for breaching disclosure rules.

(BusinessDesk)

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NZ Market Snapshot

Forex

Sym Price Change
USD 0.7740 -0.0003 -0.04%
AUD 0.9511 0.0005 0.05%
EUR 0.6324 -0.0002 -0.03%
GBP 0.4954 0.0001 0.02%
HKD 6.0039 0.0001 0.00%
JPY 92.5100 -0.0050 -0.01%

Commods

Commodity Price Change Time
Gold Index 1195.4 -2.890 2014-12-19T00:
Oil Brent 61.4 2.110 2014-12-19T00:
Oil Nymex 57.1 2.740 2014-12-19T00:
Silver Index 16.0 0.090 2014-12-19T00:

Indices

Symbol Open High Last %
NZX 50 5518.5 5545.0 5518.5 0.17%
NASDAQ 4752.6 4782.1 4748.4 0.36%
DAX 9901.3 9901.3 9811.1 -0.25%
DJI 17778.0 17874.0 17778.2 0.15%
FTSE 6466.0 6566.9 6466.0 1.23%
HKSE 23158.3 23189.6 22832.2 1.25%
NI225 17511.0 17621.4 17210.0 2.39%