Shares rise in quiet early trade

22:22, Jan 21 2013

New Zealand shares crept into the black at the open, nudging closely behind last week's five-year highs despite weak trading volumes.

PGG Wrightson led gainers, and the Fonterra Shareholders' Fund fell.

The NZX 50 Index rose 10.4 points, or 0.25 per cent, to 4,195.56 in the first 30 minutes of trade. 18 stocks rose, and six fell.

Trading was thin on the benchmark index this morning, with little economic data to drive investor sentiment and US markets closed overnight for Martin Luther King day.

However, key European indices posted modest gains of approximately 0.5 per cent, inching towards two-year highs.

The widely-held expectation that the Bank of Japan will deliver an aggressive monetary stimulus policy at the end of its meeting today also helped support global shares and risk assets.

The New Zealand dollar recently traded at US83.58c, little changed from US83.63 at 8am and US83.54c at 5pm yesterday.

Rural services supply company PGG Wrightson led gainers on the local bourse, up 2.2 per cent to 46c.

Steel & Tube, the construction materials supplier, rose 2 per cent to $2.60.

Rubber goods and milking equipment manufacturer Skellerup rose 1.2 per cent to $1.64.

Auckland International Airport, the country's busiest gateway, rose 1.1 per cent to $2.80.

The Warehouse Group, the largest listed retailer, rose 1 per cent to $3.18.

The Fonterra Shareholders' Fund led declines, as investors continued to book profits on last week's strong performance. Stock fell 0.7 per cent to $7.25.

New Zealand Oil and Gas, the energy exploration and production firm, fell 0.6 per cent to 87c.

Listed real estate investment vehicle Argosy Property Trust fell 0.6 per cent to 91c.

Port of Tauranga, New Zealand's biggest export hub, fell 0.5 per cent to $13.63.