Market close: Shares fall as yield story runs out of puff, Telecom drops

BUSINESSDESK: New Zealand shares fell, led by Telecom, as investors looked for reasons to drive the market higher after offshore demand for dividend yields drove the NZX 50 Index to a five-year high this month.

The NZX 50 fell 32.48 points, or 0.8%, to 3951.29. Within the index, 29 stocks fell, 15 rose and six were unchanged. Turnover was a lower-than-average $66 million.

Telecom sank 3.5% to $2.38. At today's price it has a dividend yield of 12.1%, almost triple the 4.32% on an average one-year term deposit, according to interest.co.nz.

Faced with interest rates near record lows, investors have turned to the equity market for better returns, sending money into the best-yielding stocks.

Goodman Property Trust, up 0.5% to $1.06, has a dividend yield of 8%. Precinct Properties NZ rose 1.5% to $1.035 and has a dividend yield of 6.59%.

Kiwi Income Property Trust, up 0.4% to $1.175 for a dividend yield of 7.47%.

Offshore money and the general increase from KiwiSaver have helped push the NZX 50 above 4000 for the first time since early January 2008.

"We had a fairly good run and the market needs something to kick it along," says David Price, a broker at Forsyth Barr. "A lot of savers are being penalised with interest rates so low. What's driven the rally so hard has been yields."

Restaurant Brands rose 4.1%, leading the index higher. The company has a dividend yield of about 9.9%. Trade Me, the auction site that holds its annual meeting tomorrow, rose 1.6% to $4.45.

Among smaller caps, cashed-up department store operator Kirkcaldie & Stains soared 25% to $3.25 on speculation the company could return capital after selling a property worth more than its market capitalisation.

David Cushing, whose family owns almost 20% of the company, says the shares are worth even more.

Among the biggest stocks, Freightways fell 2.7% to $4.28, trimming this year's gain to about 20%. TrustPower fell about 2% to $8.55.

New Zealand Oil & Gas fell 1.7% to 85 cents. The company said today it farmed out a 25% stake in its Kaheru prospect off the South Taranaki coast to ASX-listed Beach Energy for $US3 million.

Fletcher Building fell 0.7% to $7.07 as the government unveiled a series of long-term measures to lift housing affordability including a review of supply-side construction costs.

Acurity Health Group was unchanged at $5.91 after it said chief executive Andrew Blair will step down as the head of the private hospital operator once-known as Wakefield Health after six years in the top job.

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NZ Market Snapshot

Forex

Sym Price Change
USD 0.7859 0.0027 0.34%
AUD 0.8885 0.0012 0.14%
EUR 0.6234 0.0020 0.32%
GBP 0.4912 0.0015 0.31%
HKD 6.0697 -0.0049 -0.08%
JPY 85.9510 0.3840 0.45%

Commods

Commodity Price Change Time
Gold Index 1198.1 -13.740 2014-10-30T00:
Oil Brent 86.2 -0.880 2014-10-30T00:
Oil Nymex 81.1 -1.180 2014-10-30T00:
Silver Index 16.4 -0.830 2014-10-30T00:

Indices

Symbol Open High Last %
NZX 50 5370.2 5405.3 5370.2 0.39%
NASDAQ 4532.1 4575.5 4549.2 0.37%
DAX 9091.1 9147.0 9082.8 0.35%
DJI 16968.1 17224.0 16974.3 1.30%
FTSE 6453.9 6483.2 6453.9 0.15%
HKSE 23913.7 23952.7 23702.0 0.91%
NI225 15817.1 15952.6 15658.2 1.88%