Bluechips boost sharemarket

Shares rose back into the black this morning with solid trading in bluechip stocks compensating for another round of middling company result announcements.

The NZX 50 Index rose 12.77 points, or 0.3 per cent, to 4,209.51 in the first 30 minutes of trade. Telecom rose and NZX fell. The kiwi dollar recently traded at US84.39 cents, almost unchanged from US84.38c at 8am this morning.

The local bourse dipped back below the 4,200 mark by the end of last week on a major institutional selldown in Auckland International Airport, which has since filtered through the exchange.

Shares recovered some ground at the open despite so-so results from securities market operator NZX and commercial and industrial real estate investor Property For Industry.

The securities market operator's net profit for the 12 months to the end of December fell to $9.9 million from $14.5m in the previous year. Investors took 1 cent off the share price in response, down to $1.29.

Property for Industry reported a 7.5 per cent fall in annual earnings, and also saw its stock ease 1c to $1.24.

Meanwhile, telco companies Telecom and Telstra led the exchange higher.

Telecom rose 2 per cent to $2.27 ahead of its half-year results announcement on Friday. The telco is rated "hold" by a Reuters consensus poll of 10 analysts.

Australian rival Telstra was up 0.9 per cent to $5.65.

Fisher & Paykel Healthcare, the manufacturer of respirators and breathing masks, rose 0.9 per cent to $2.36.

Jeweller Michael Hill International recovered 0.8 per cent to $1.23 after reporting a mixed half-year result on Friday.

NZX led decliners, followed by Auckland electricity and gas supplier Vector, down 0.7 per cent to $2.82.

Fellow utility firm TrustPower, which is controlled by Infratil, fell 0.6 per cent to $8.21, The country's biggest listed electricity company Contact Energy was down 0.6 per cent to $5.10.

Nuplex Industries, the manufacturer of industrial chemicals and resins, fell 0.6 per cent to $3.50.