Member log in

NZ sharemarket eases but select stocks perform

The New Zealand sharemarket was weak but Air New Zealand rose on strong operating statistics for November.

Michael Hill International also rose as the family owner clarified plans to up its stake.

The benchmark NZX-50 index closed down 25.16 points, or 0.8%, at 3299.96, which was near where it started the day.

Contact Energy fell 10c to 614, giving up some of the gains it made last week. The rain across the country was likely to bring wholesale electricity prices down, Hamilton Hindin Greene director Grant Williamson said.

Rural stocks were mixed, with PGG Wrightson up 3c to 47 but Allied Farmers was unchanged at 2c.

Michael Hill shares rose 2c to 86 after Durante Holdings, set up to consolidate the holdings of shares held by the Hill family through family trusts, said it was offering 90c per share to buy 5% of the shares it does not already own.

That would see it buying 10 million shares and take its holding to 50.2%.

Mr Williamson said investors accepting the offer may be scaled back but the move showed confidence in the business from the family owner.

Air NZ rose 2c to 149 after reporting an 11% rise in passenger numbers in November from the same month a year ago. The share price is at its highest level since 2008.

Mr Williamson said some companies with businesses offshore, performed well because of a weaker NZ dollar.

Mainfreight, which has significant offshore operations, rose 15c to 802 and Nuplex rose 11c to 352.

Fletcher Building was unchanged at 773 on a day Crane Group directors rejected its offer. Telecom lost 2c to 221.

OceanaGold rose 25c to 505 and NZ Refining rose another 3c to 445.

The Warehouse rose 2c to 358 and Methven rose 2c to 169. Tourism Holdings rose 1c to 79 and Auckland Airport rose 2c to 113.

Fisher&Paykel Appliances fell 1c to 51 and NZOG fell 2c to 84.

More by NZPA