Market close: Shares rally – Telecom climbs as Blackrock lifts stake, Fletcher rises
BUSINESSDESK: New Zealand shares rose, pushing the NZX 50 Index to a two-month high, with volumes dominated by Telecom after the government named a regulator seen as more benign and a US fund lifted its stake in the biggest company on the exchange.
The NZX 50 Index rose 38.48 points, or 1.1%, to 3483.11. Within the index, 38 stocks rose, four fell and eight were unchanged. Turnover was about $122 million, with Telecom alone accounting for $66 million of that.
Telecom gained 2.7% to $2.49 as funds associated with BlackRock Investment Management lifted their stake to 6.05% from 5.03%.
Communications Minister Amy Adams today named Stephen Gale as telecommunications commissioner, passing over incumbent Ross Patterson by appointing one of his deputies to the role. Mr Gale may take a more hands-off role to the telecommunications sector.
Fletcher, the biggest construction company on the NZX 50, rose for a second day after Australia's home-building approvals jumped a record 27.3% in May. The stock closed the day up about 1% to $6.26, its highest since June 20.
"Australia's housing data was positive and we saw good housing data out of the US," said Mark Lister, head of private wealth research at Craigs Investment Partners.
"When we get change in global sentiment it is the big stocks that move – the Telecoms and the Fletchers."
The gains were led by OceanaGold Corp, the operator of the Macraes gold field that joined the NZX 50 in September, rising 13% to $2.59. Investors traditionally consider the stock volatile as it seesaws alongside the price of gold.
Spot gold edged up to $US1616.39 an ounce in Asia today.
PGG Wrightson, the nation’s largest rural services company, closing the day down 3.2% to 30 cents.
The decline comes after the price of dairy products fell 5.9% in the latest GlobalDairyTrade auction, mirroring a broader decline in New Zealand’s primary sector exports in the face of doubts about the strength of the world’s economic recovery.
NZX, the exchange operator, was unchanged at $1.34 after the value of trading in its cash markets fell 11.2% in June from a year earlier, the sixth monthly decline.
Kathmandu, the outdoor equipment chain, rose 6.1% to $1.40 after government figures in Australia showed retail sales rose 0.5% in May, more than twice the expected pace.
Michael Hill International, the jewellery chain that bases its head office in Australia, rose 2.1% to 98 cents.
Sky City Entertainment Group rose 0.9% to $3.50, with 3.2 million shares changing hands.