MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares rise as global markets stabilise; Spark, Sky TV, Fletcher gain

New Zealand shares rose after some stability returned to global markets, though news remains scarce ahead of reporting season. 

New Zealand shares rose after some stability returned to global markets, though news remains scarce ahead of reporting season. Spark New Zealand, Sky Network Television, and Fletcher Building gained.

The S&P/NZX 50 Index climbed 59.81 points, or 1 percent, to 6169.1. Within the index, 36 stocks rose, seven fell and seven were unchanged. Turnover was $95 million.

The index rose slightly over the week, having closed at 6158.1 last Friday, despite volatility around the globe pushing the benchmark around. Stocks on Wall Street were up overnight and oil prices, which had fallen below $30 earlier in the week due to a global oversupply, regained a little bit of ground.

"I don't think we're out of the woods yet," said Mark Lister, head of private wealth research at Craigs Investment Partners. "There's been a bit of stability in the market overnight and today, but there's more volatility and bits of bad news out of certain parts of the world to come."

Spark was the biggest gainer today, rising 2.9 percent to $3.355, a six-week high.

Z Energy advanced 2.5% to $6.47. The petrol station chain seeking to takeover rival Chevron New Zealand's brands wants more in-depth company reporting on non-financial measures including workplace safety, and more fulsome executive pay disclosure, which would bring the local market's obligations in line with Australia.

Fletcher Building gained 2.5% to $6.93. Earlier in the week, Fletcher had hit $6.76, a low it hadn't seen previously since September 2015.

Sky TV rose 2.4 percent to $4.31. It hit a low of $4.118 on Tuesday, the lowest since Aug. 31, 2009.

"A couple of stocks which have been exceptionally weak have bounced a bit, like Sky and Fletcher," Lister said.

Air New Zealand jumped 2% to $3.08, a thirteen and a half-year high, with the stock having risen 4.4 percent this week. The airline is an obvious beneficiary of the low oil price, Lister said.

Meridian Energy gained 2.1 percent to $2.39, Mighty River Power rose 2 percent to $2.83, and Goodman Property Trust advanced 1.6 percent to $1.25. Metlifecare climbed 1.6 percent to $4.38, and Heartland Bank grew 1.6 percent to $1.30.

Today's low turnover was down to investors waiting to see what happened both globally and locally, with company reporting season beginning in February, Lister said.

"A lot of investors are probably well-positioned where they want to be, and they might not choose to make wholesale changes until you see the company reporting season next month. There's not much company news flow, they're not going to go out there with major announcements just before they announce their results."

Ryman Healthcare was the worst performer, falling 1 percent to $8.21. Trustpower dropped 0.9 percent to $7.68, and Auckland International Airport shed 0.7 percent to $5.59.

Outside the benchmark index, Bethunes Investments was unchanged at 1.7 cents. Shareholders in Bethunes, formerly known as Mowbray Collectables, have agreed to sell its Webb's auction house for $800,000 to Australia's Mossgreen.


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