NZ sharemarket posts solid gains

Thursday, Jul 15, 2010

The New Zealand sharemarket rose for its eighth trading day in nine after stocks in the United States rallied for a sixth straight day as the earnings season got off to a good start.

Alcoa Inc, the largest United States aluminium producer, and seen as a bellwether for the economy, heartened investors in the US after it reported stronger than expected results and raised its estimate for global aluminium consumption.

"We've seen a very good start to the earnings season. It's forcing a lot of bearish analysts to review their positions," Ben Potter at IG Markets said.

"It's not just headline figures that are impressive, but outlook statements are upping guidance, which is very encouraging."

The rise in the New Zealand market came even though retail sales data and housing market data suggested consumer demand is subdued.

The benchmark NZX-50 index closed up 18.54 points, or 0.616 per cent, at 3027.438, which is about the level it floated to in opening trade. Turnover was worth $54.1 million. There were 60 rises and 15 falls among the 97 stocks traded.

NZOG rose 8c, or 6.3 per cent, to 135 after saying reserves at the Kupe Field have been upgraded and its share is worth $100 million at current prices.

Auckland Airport rose 2c to 196 on a day it welcomed new services to Queenstown Airport by Jetstar.

Auckland Airport is a shareholder in Queenstown Airport.

Even though May retail sales data was subdued Hallenstein Glassons rose 4c to 370 and The Warehouse rose 4c to 348. Michael Hill rose 2c to 70 and Kathmandu rose 2c to 200.

Among the leaders Telecom rose 1c to 197 and Fletcher Building rose 4c to 774.

Pike River Coal rose 3c to 95, NZ Refining rose 5c to 316 and Steel & Tube rose 3c to 228.

NZX fell 4c to 153. It is set to get a new listing in August in DNZ Property Fund but NZ Experience today signalled it will look for a buyer of all its shares after a major shareholder signalled it wants to sell its shares.

TrustPower fell 2c to 723 and Fisher & Paykel Healthcare fell 1c to 305. Rakon fell 1c to 96 and AMP Office fell 1c to 71. Port of Tauranga fell 5c to 685.

The Dow Jones industrial average gained 1.4 per cent to 10,363.02, the Standard & Poor's 500 Index rose 1.5 per cent to 1095.34, and the Nasdaq Composite Index jumped 2 per cent to 2242.03.

Even so, recent low volume suggests the market's longest winning streak since mid-April could be running out of steam, while the cost of protection in the options market against a market drop keeps growing.

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