Another good day for NZ market

The New Zealand share market rose strongly for the second consecutive day today, recovering losses suffered last week after giant institutional investor the New Zealand Superannuation Fund shed a $277 million stake in Auckland International Airport.

Blue chip stock Fletcher Building lead the gainers ahead of its half year result tomorrow, while PGG Wrightson fell.

The benchmark NZX 50 Index rose 29.73 points, or 0.70 per cent, to close at 4,244.21. Within the index 22 stocks rose and 14 fell.

Fletcher Building, the country's biggest construction firm, led the market up, rising 3.56 per cent to $9.32 ahead of its half year result.

Contact Energy, the country's biggest listed electricity company, rose 3.35 per cent to close at $5.25 after announcing a strong result.

The Wellington-based power firm reported a half-year profit of $88 million, up more than 29 per cent on the same period last year.

Operating earnings were up 9.5 per cent to $253 million, meeting analysts' forecasts.

Forsyth Barr broker David Price said it was a very strong day for the markets, with Fletcher Building the major mover of the day.

It would appear the market was expecting a better-than-foreshadowed result from the listed builder tomorrow.

Australian shares also edged higher during the day, holding on to recent gains.

Leading the decliners on the local bourse was PGG Wrightson, the rural services company, which fell 2.17 per cent to close at 45c.

Precinct Properties New Zealand, formerly known as AMP NZ Office, fell 1.92 per cent to $1.02.

The specialist investor in office real estate posted a 1.5 percent decline in first-half net operating income as costs rose and occupancy fell.

On the currency markets the kiwi dollar fell against the greenback, remaining down on last week's high.

The kiwi dollar recently traded at US84.36 cents, down from US84.53 cents at 8am.

On the Trade Weighted Index of major trading partners' currencies it was 76.90, unchanged since this morning.

On the crosses, the kiwi fell across the board, recently trading at 81.70 Australian cents, down from A82.08c at 8am, 63.20 euro cents, down from 63.29c, 54.54 pence, down from 54.67p, and 79.04 yen down from 79.43 yen.

The 90 day bank bill rate was down slightly to 2.69 per cent.