Stocks flirt with high in quiet trade

Last updated 17:48 28/01/2013

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New Zealand stocks pinged off a five year high today, albeit off modest momentum, with limited liquidity due Auckland and Australian regional holidays. Freightways led gainers and Ryman Healthcare fell.

The NZX 50 Index rose 4.61 points, or 0.11 per cent, to 4,204.43, with turnover coming in at a lower-than-usual $43.6 million. Within the index, 25 stock rose, 12 fell, and 13 were unchanged.

Bryon Burke, head dealer at Craigs Investment Partners, said trading volumes had been particularly light with institutional traders on both side of the Tasman sitting the session out.

"Today is not a good example of market direction," he said.

Trading signals were also muted by a lack of corporate news, with most companies in news blackout mode ahead of the reporting season which kicks off next week.

Freightways, the express package and information management company, rose 2.1 per cent to $2.06.

Blue chip Telecom accounted for the bulk of trading activity with 1.8 million shares changing hands. The telephone company's share price rose 0.4 per cent to $2.39.

NZX, the securities market holder which as seen equity trading volumes jump by a quarter in the past year, rose 0.8 per cent to $1.35.

Chorus, the telephone network utility, rose 0.7 per cent to $2.86. Summerset, the retirement village operator, rose 0.4 per cent to $2.35.

Ryman, the country's biggest retirement village operator, fell 1.1 per cent to $4.55, leading decliners at the close as investor continued to book profits.

Metlifecare, the country's third listed aged care provider, fell 0.6 per cent to $3.13.

Diligent Board Member Services, the governance software maker, fell 0.7 per cent to $5.40.

Trade Me, the online marketplace provider, fell 0.2 per cent to $4.13 off of 1.1 million shares traded.

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