Market close: Shares rise, led by Air NZ, Infratil, NZOG
BUSINESSDESK: New Zealand shares rose, led by Air New Zealand, Infratil and NZ Oil & Gas on optimism the European Central Bank is going to act to support the European economy, helping underpin demand for so-called growth assets.
The NZX 50 Index rose 23.89 points, or 0.7%, to 3693.54. Within the index, 35 shares rose, seven gained and eight were unchanged. Turnover was about $131 million.
Air New Zealand rose 3.2% to $1.11 and is up about 19% this year. The national carrier last week beat estimates with a 12% drop in annual profit to $71 million.
"The gain is probably following on from its strong result," says Craig Brown, senior investment analyst at One Path New Zealand. "It's always a business which has difficultly in forecasting earnings – investors are feeling that positive momentum."
Infratil, the infrastructure investment firm, rose 2.4% to $2.14. Auckland International Airport, the country's major gateway, climbed 1.2% to $2.60.
Telecom, New Zealand’s largest listed company, rose 0.4% to $2.46 while Ryman Healthcare, New Zealand's largest retirement village operator, climbed 1% to $3.89.
Warehouse Group, the biggest retailer on the NZX 50, was up 0.7% to $2.90 ahead of its earnings tomorrow.
The decline was led by Kathmandu, the outdoor clothing retailer that posts its results on September 20, down 4.3% to $1.79, having been one of the retailers bid up earlier in the week. The stock has gained about 7% this year.
"The share price has enjoyed a strong run," Mr Brown says. "I just wonder whether some existing shareholders have decided it went too far and are selling ahead of the result."
Briscoe Group, the home and sporting goods retailer, fell 0.5% to $1.95. The stock has gained about 45% this year. It posted a 29% increase in half-year profit to $13.3 million. Sales rose nearly 5.5% to about $205 million.
PGG Wrightson, the country's biggest rural services company, fell 2.9% to 35 cents. Cavalier, New Zealand's only listed carpet maker, declined 3.8% to $1.75.
OceanaGold, which operates the Macraes goldfield near Dunedin, shed 2.8% to $3.29.
Shares in Comvita rose 2.7% to a five-year high close of $3.80 after the honey products company detailed the results of a small medical study, yet to be peer-reviewed, showing its olive leaf extract boosts the effectiveness of insulin in overweight, middle-aged men at risk of diabetes.