NZ shares gain in quiet trade

Last updated 17:57 30/07/2012

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The New Zealand sharemarket closed in the black for a third session, but fears of further macroeconomic volatility saw kiwi investors sit out most of the rally sweeping through the Asia Pacific region.

OceanaGold led gainers, and NZX fell after advising the market half-year earnings would come in weaker than a year ago.

The NZX 50 Index rose 17.59 points, or 0.5 per cent, to 3518.89. Within the index, 24 stocks rose, 17 fell, and nine were unchanged. Turnover was a lower-than-usual $56.8 million off of 18.9 million shares traded. The 90-day bill rate last traded at 2.70 per cent.

"It's been quite a mixed day, and although were up we haven't followed offshore markets which are quite a bit stronger," said Grant Williamson, a director at Hamilton Hindin Greene, who said global risk appetites were being fuelled by hopes of further economic stimulus.

The European Central Bank is expected to give its rescue fund, the European Stability Mechanism, a banking license on Thursday, allowing it greater flexibility and freedom to help ailing eurozone states.

OceanaGold, the Australian operator of the Reefton and Macraes goldfields, rose 3.5 per cent to $2.67, with the stock continuing to ride better-than-expected second quarter earnings.

PGG Wrightson, the rural service provider, rose 3.2 per cent to 32c.

The stock has seen higher that usual activity in recent weeks after its second biggest shareholder, Torchlight, sold down its holdings in the firm to pay down debt.

Telecom, the country's biggest phone company and most traded stock, rose 2.6 per cent to $2.61 off of 4.9 million shares traded.

NZX, the securities market operator, fell 10.6 per cent to $1.18 after announcing interim profit would come in at between $2m and $3m, short of the $7.3m forecast by brokerage Forsyth Barr.

Heartland New Zealand, the would-be bank, fell 1.8 per cent.

Air New Zealand, the national carrier, rose 1.1 per cent to 91c. The airline last week said it was slashing prices on all domestic routes, starting in September, as an additional 360,000 seats come on line in the next year.

Fisher & Paykel Healthcare, the maker of breathing masks and respirators, fell 1 per cent to $1.93 with the elevated level of the kiwi putting the stock under pressure. The firm earns about half of its revenue in US dollar terms.

Goodman Property Trust, the real estate investment vehicle, fell 0.5 per cent to $1.01.

Sanford, the Auckland-based fisheries company, fell 0.3 per cent to $3.83 ahead of its pollution and conspiracy case in the US.

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