Shares follow global markets higher

23:33, Apr 11 2013

The New Zealand sharemarket followed global markets up this morning, off-setting yesterday's losses caused by the rampant kiwi dollar.

The NZX 50 Index was up 3.296 points or 0.1 per cent to 4412.835 in its first bout of trading. Sixteen companies gained, five fell, and 29 stayed put.

United States stocks advanced yesterday, extending a rally in the Standard & Poor's 500 Index to a fourth day, as retailers climbed amid rising March sales and jobless claims dropped more than estimated. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index advanced 0.4 per cent to 1593.37, setting a high for the second straight day.

On the local bourse New Zealand Oil & Gas corrected yesterday's losses, and led the gainers up 1.8 per cent to trade at 87 cents, despite the drop in global oil prices.

Crude oil prices, one of the key cost components in refined petroleum products, fell 1.4 per cent overnight to US$104.32 a barrel, its lowest level since July last year.

Oil prices fell after analysts cut forecasts for global oil demand growth and US crude oil stocks increased to their highest in more than two decades.

Locally, BP and Z Energy cut the price of petrol another two cents a litre, passing on savings from a hot New Zealand dollar and a further-easing in the cost of refined petroleum product.

SkyCity Entertainment Group was up 1 per cent to trade at $4.21, and Metlifecare, the retirement village operator, was also up 1 per cent to $3.20.

Auckland International Airport posted a 0.4 per cent gain to trade at $2.88, after being named the best airport in Australia Pacific for the fifth year in a row.

The airport was also won the Best Staff Service award for the Australia-Pacific region for the second year running, and came second globally in Best Airport between 10 and 20 million passengers.

At the other end of the trade, Telecom declined 1.2 per cent to $2.40 after an analyst forecast the company would lay off a total of 1750 staff following another round of redundancies next year.

Telecom chief executive Simon Moutter announced last month the company would cut between 930 and 1230 full-time jobs by the end of June. The analyst expected the fresh round of redundancies would come in about a year's time.

Mainfreight, the international trucking and logistics company, dropped 0.9 per cent to $11.10, and investment holding company Guinness Peat Group lost yesterday's gains dropping 0.8 per cent to trade at 59c.