NZ markets recover a little ground

ELOISE GIBSON
Last updated 18:54 19/03/2013

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New Zealand shares eked out a small gain today after a bad start to the week, with plenty of shares changing hands in Summerset and Guiness Peat Group.

The benchmark NZX50 rose 4 points or 0.09 per cent to 4,345.04 on good trading volumes of 170 million shares.

Markets recovered a little ground as Cypriot ministers worked to revise the bailout scheme that dashed confidence yesterday.

Sky Network Television rose and PGG Wrightson fell.

ANZ Wealth senior investment analyst Craig Brown said today was notable for high volumes of shares changing hands in Summerset, the listed retirement village operator, and Guiness Peat Group, the investment holding company.

Summerset fell slightly by 1.55 per cent to close at $2.54 after emerging from a trading halt put in place yesterday to enable a Quadrant, a private equity firm, to sell a third of its 56 per cent stake.

Brown put heavy trading in Guiness Peat Group down to a share buy-back by the company, whose shares rose 0.83 per cent to $0.61 in today's trading.

Sky Network television, the pay TV operator, led gainers, rising 2.46 per cent to $5.41.

Next was Auckland International Airport, which rose 2.21 per cent to $2.78.

Brown said a good day for property stocks reflected a strong demand for yield. The country's biggest listed property investor Kiwi Income Property Trust rose 2.16 per cent to $1.18.

DNZ Property Fund, the Wellington-based property investor rose 1.79 per cent to $1.71.

PGG Wrightson, the rural services company, led decliners, falling 2.70 per cent to $0.36 as a widespread drought continues.

AMP, the Australian wealth manager, was next, falling 2.27 per cent to $6.45.

The kiwi dollar gained a little ground against the greenback, trading at US82.59 cents at 5pm, up from US82.49 at 8am, while on the Trade Weighted Index of major trading partners' currencies it was up at 75.90.

On the crosses, the kiwi recently traded at 79.46 Australian cents, up from 79.32 at 5pm yesterday and 78.86 yen, up from 78.73 yen.

It closed at 63.70 euro cents, unchanged from 63.70 euro cents, and 54.46 British pence, down from 54.63 earlier.

The 90 day bank bill rate was down from yesterday at 2.65 per cent.

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