The New Zealand sharemarket shrugged off a weaker start to the day to post a modest gain at midday. Moa, the boutique beer brewer, also started trading on the NZX.
Xero led gainers and Westpac fell.
The NZX 50 Index rose 3.24 points, or 0.08 per cent, to 3987.24 as of noon. A lower-than-usual 6.8 million shares changed hands in the first two hours of trade, worth $30m in turnover.
Across the Tasman, S&P/ASX 200 Index fell 0.2 per cent to 4437.70 at the open, with uncertainty around Europe and the US fiscal cliff weighing on sentiment.
Xero, the cloud accounting platform provider which dual listed on the ASX recently, rose 2.1 per cent to $6.43, a fresh historic high.
Moa, the Blenheim-based brewer last traded at $1.35, a 10c premium to its $1.25 issue price, having started trading on the NZX as of noon.
Kathmandu, the outdoor clothing and equipment retailer, rose 1.8 per cent to $1.70.
Heartland New Zealand, the would-be bank, rose 1.5 per cent to 68c.
Telecom, the country’s biggest phone company and most traded stock, rose 0.2 per cent to $2.44 on the back of 1.2 million shares traded.
Infratil, the infrastructure investment firm, rose 0.2 per cent to $2.18. The firm today reported a loss of $17 million for the six months to September, after it wrote down the value of its British Airports and other assets.
Westpac, the Australian lender, fell 3.9 per cent to $32.10 after fears that Greece would not receive a 30 billion euro bailout saw investors trim their holdings in financial stocks, which are widely regarded as a bellwether of the global economy.
Mainfreight, the global trucking and logistics firm, fell 1.9 per cent to $10.20 after the firm’s half year earnings fell 4.6 per cent to $27.7 million due to the ongoing weakness of the European economy.
Vector, the Auckland electricity and gas distribution monopoly, fell 1.1 per cent to $2.72 amid uncertainty over proposed rules governing the price it can charge customers.
Guinness Peat Group, the investment holding company in the throes of winding itself down, fell 0.9 per cent to 59c.
Food prices fell 0.6 per cent in October according to the latest data from Statistics New Zealand. That reflects seasonally lower prices for vegetables, partly countered by higher grocery food prices. Annual food prices were up just 0.3 per cent.