Unethusiastic market stays positive

Last updated 18:21 10/05/2012

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The New Zealand sharemarket posted another day of tepid gains, resisting the negativity of international equity markets as investors continued to hunt for yield.

The NZX50 index rose 0.27 per cent, or 9.58 points, to 3,569.05. Within the index, 22 stocks rose and 19 fell. OceanaGold led gainers, and Cavalier Corp fell.

One Path New Zealand senior investment analyst Craig Brown said the defensive nature of the New Zealand market had helped it to outperform weak offshore leads overnight.

"The continual hunt for yield is probably the dominant theme that's been continuing- the property sector was pretty well supported again as well", he said.

Historically low interest rates worldwide were forcing people to look elsewhere for the income they needed to live off, said Brown.

"You've got such low interest rates on offer, people are encouraged to look into other asset classes to get their required yield, and defensive equities look attractive."

Brown said while the high yields of the market insulated it somewhat from international turbulence, investors would remain cautious.

European temperatures rose another notch overnight after senior German and EU officials gave voice to the possibility of kicking debt-laden Greece out of the euro zone.

That general sense of uncertainty was heightened by the weaker than expected trade data out of China today, said Brown.

The sister telco companies paced gainers on the exchange, with a combined 15 million shares changing hands. Telecom continued to see solid support, and Chorus bounced back from a slump earlier in the week caused by the Commerce Commission's proposal to level out unbundling fees.

OceanaGold, the miner which operates the Reefton and Macraes goldfields, led gainers. Shares rebounded 4.5 per cent to $2.56, after falling gold prices caused the stock to plummet yesterday.

AMP Capital, the manufacturer of crystal timing devices used in electronics, fell 2 per cent to 50c.

Freightways rose 1.7 per cent to $4.21. The express package and information management company is rated "buy" by a Reuters consensus poll of six analysts.

Chorus, the telephone network company, rose 1.6 per cent to $3.20 as investors returned to the stock.

Carpet manufacturer Cavalier Corp led decliners, down 4 per cent to $1.67.

PGG Wrightson, the rural services company, fell 2.9 per cent to 34c.

NZX fell 2.4 per cent to $2.80. The securities market operator fell went ex-dividend today, with investors due to receive a 3.25c per share payout.

Pumpkin Patch, the children's clothing chain, fell 2.1 per cent to 93c.

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- BusinessDay.co.nz

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