Shares rise on Cyprus deal

LAURA WALTERS
Last updated 11:38 26/03/2013

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The sharemarket rose at the open today on the back of good financial results and a resolution to the Cypriot banking sector turmoil, despite global markets taking a hit.

Yesterday Cyprus clinched the deal with international lenders for a 10 billion euro (NZ$15b) bailout that will shut down the country's second-largest bank and inflict heavy losses on uninsured depositors, but save it from financial meltdown and expulsion from the eurozone.

The news of the bailout agreement restored global market confidence, but optimism faded after news the deal could become a template for future bank restructurings in the eurozone.

The local bourse fared better than the global markets with the benchmark NZX 50 gaining 8.72 points, or 0.2 per cent, to 4349.45 shortly after the open.

Nine companies rose, 10 declined and 31 remained unchanged.

Skellerup, the rubber goods and milking equipment manufacturer, extended yesterday's gain with a rise of 2 per cent to $1.51, and retirement village operator Ryman Healthcare gained 1.9 per cent to $4.89.

Heartland Bank, New Zealand's newest bank, turned around its losing streak to rise 1.3 per cent to trade at 77 cents.

Metlifecare, the retirement village operator that entered the sharemarket at the end of last year, was also up 1 per cent to $3.16 after its interim report showed its cash flow up 167 per cent to $19.5 million and an increase in sale volumes of 52 per cent.

Kathmandu Holdings, the outdoor clothing and equipment retailer, gained 0.8 per cent to trade at $2.47, on the back of its interim result which showed sales growth of 13 per cent to $165.9m and a net profit of $10.3m, up 71.7 per cent.

At the other end of the market telecommunications network company Chorus dropped 2.7 per cent to $2.86 as it went ex-dividend today.

Auckland electricity and gas supplier Vector was down 1.8 per cent to $2.75.

OceanaGold Corp, the miner which operates the Macraes and Reefton goldfields, dropped 1.7 per cent to $3.39, after a turnaround in global prices due to the Cypriot bailout agreement.

Fletcher Building, the country's biggest construction firm, was also down 0.9 per cent to trade at $8.50 as it also went ex-dividend.

Globally the markets did not fare as well.

The Dow Jones industrial average was down 0.4 per cent, at 14,457.81. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index down 0.3 per cent, at 1552.68, and the Nasdaq Composite Index was down 0.2 per cent, at 3237.47.

Italian blue-chips extended losses with the benchmark FTSE MIB equity index for Italy closing down 2.5 per cent.

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The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index slipped down 0.3 per cent to end at 1186.45.

- © Fairfax NZ News

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