MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares edge up; Steel & Tube, Fletcher gain   11 Jun 2012

Article - BusinessDesk

MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares edge up in subdued trading; Steel & Tube, Fletcher rise

June 11 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand shares rose in a session where an Australian holiday kept trading subdued. Steel & Tube led the advance of companies exposed to the building industry after Europe's bailout of Spain's banks stoked optimism global growth won't be derailed.

The NZX 50 Index rose 4.77 points, or 0.1 percent, to 3454.24. Within the index, 17 stocks rose, 17 fell and 16 were unchanged. Turnover was $41.6 million, less than half the recent average daily turnover.

Equity markets rallied across Asia after Spain secured a regional bailout for its banks. Japan's Nikkei 225 Index was up 1.9 percent in afternoon trading and Hong Kong's Hang Seng rose 2.1 percent.

Steel & Tube, which sells steel construction materials, rose 2.8 percent to $2.17. Cavalier, the nation's only listed carpet maker, gained 2.5 percent to $1.62 and Fletcher, the biggest construction company on the bourse, rose 2.3 percent to $6.35.

“I thought it would have been more positive today with the Spanish banks getting some money – it has still been reasonably muted so maybe we will play catch up tomorrow when the Australian market opens,” said Mark Lister, head of private wealth research at Craigs Investment Partners.

Skellerup Holdings, which makes rubber goods and milking equipment, rose 1.5 percent to $1.40 after the company said chief financial officer Guy Keogh will take a new role in its Agri division as manager in charge of dairy International, dairy local and footwear. He will continue as acting CFO until a replacement is found.

Vector, the Auckland gas, electricity and telecommunications networks owner, fell 1.1 percent to $2.63 after announcing it had extended its firmly contracted gas, with 5 petajoules of annual gas contracts signed with three new contracts with Fonterra Cooperative Group, New Zealand Steel, and power company MightyRiverPower.

Air New Zealand was unchanged at 86.5 cents after chief executive Rob Fyfe was reported by news media to have said the company is on target to meet a $110 million profit improvement from its international network. Fyfe was speaking at the International Air Transport Association meeting in Beijing.

OceanaGold, the operator of the Macraes gold field, was the biggest decliner on the NZX 50, falling 4.3 percent to $2.70.

“Gold hasn’t been doing as well as you might expect it to, with Spain, Greece and Portugal you’d expect it to be doing better,” Lister said.

Spot gold was last at US$1,599.56 an ounce, down from as much as US$1,789.40 an ounce in late February.

PGG Wrightson, the nation's biggest rural services company, declined 3.2 percent to 30 cents after a government report said the biggest risk to its forecasts for export sales growth in the next four years was a stubbornly high kiwi dollar.

Contact Energy, the biggest power company on the bourse, rose 0.6 percent to $4.73. Telecom, the largest company on the NZX 50, fell 0.2 percent to $2.43.

Sanford, the fishing company, rose 1.8 percent to $3.90. Property for Industry declined 3.4 percent to $1.14.

(BusinessDesk)

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