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Caution as market rebounds to new high

JASON KRUPP
Last updated 12:53 02/05/2012

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The New Zealand sharemarket has officially regained all the ground it lost during the global financial crisis, rocketing to a new high last seen in May 2008 - but analysts remain cautious.

The NZX50 index rose 1.05 per cent, or 37.65 points, to 3.614.97. Within the index, 32 stocks rose and 12 fell. TradeMe led gainers and Heartland New Zealand fell.

While the benchmark index came within a hairs breadth of a four year high, First NZ Capital head of institutional equities James Lee was wary of pinning it to underlying economic recovery.

"I think that's more a reflection of cashflow in the market. What you've seen here is due to record low interest rates in New Zealand - and globally really - people moving to equity markets, and seeking out some higher return."

The "Telecom effect" had also played a part, he said, creating value through the shearing off of sister company Chorus, while other mainstays like Fletcher Building and Contact were a long way off their former glory.

Lee said investors were likely to remain cautious and vigilant, with one eye trained on the European debt situation.

"We're seeing people move up the risk curve, but its not widespread in terms of volume, we're not seeing big volumes in the equity market," he said.

"It certainly doesn't feel like a bull market."

Online auctioneer TradeMe led gainers after a well-received presentation in Sydney. Shares rose 3.8 per cent to a historic high of $3.82, up by a third from last year's initial public offering price of $2.70.

Fisher & Paykel Appliance Holdings, the whiteware manufacturer, rose 2.8 per cent to 56c.

Rural services company PGG Wrightson rose 2.7 per cent to 38c.

The country's biggest construction firm, Fletcher Building, rose 2.7 per cent to $6.53, continuing a good run after Monday's report that building consents were on the rise.

Would-be bank Heartland led decliners, dropping 5 per cent to 56c. Rakon, the manufacturer of crystal timing devices used in electronics, fell 2 per cent to 50c.

Fisher & Paykel Healthcare Corp, the maker of breathing masks and respirators, fell 1.4 per cent to $2.18. Outdoor clothing and equipment retailer Kathmandu Holdings fell 1.2 per cent to $1.68.

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- BusinessDay.co.nz

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