NZX50 hits record high, thanks to Spark

  • 15/04/2016

New Zealand shares edged up to a fresh record, led by Spark New Zealand, Skellerup Holdings and Steel & Tube Holdings.

The S&P/NZX 50 Index gained 20.93 points, or 0.3 per cent, to 6,844.74. Within the index, 26 stocks rose, 13 fell and 10 were unchanged. Turnover was $132.4 million.

"We've had some positive drivers from overseas, markets have generally been pretty upbeat. Today's gain puts us at about another 8 per cent return level for the year, which is an outstanding return," said Mark Lister, head of private wealth research at Craigs Investment Partners.

Spark led the index, advancing 2.9 per cent to $3.715. The company on Thursday welcomed a government review into the Telecommunications Act, which will introduce certainty into how much fibre and copper lines network owners can charge it for broadband provision.

Skellerup Holdings was up 2.9 per cent to $1.44.

Steel & Tube Holdings rose 2.7 per cent to $2.28. On April 6, the Commerce Commission said Steel & Tube's seismic steel mesh didn't meet standards and it understands the mesh will not be sold until compliance can be demonstrated and Lister said there was some bargain-hunting from the stock's resulting weakness.

SkyCity advanced 2.4 per cent to $5.13. Last week it shed 7 per cent over Thursday and Friday's trading sessions after the resignation of its chief executive Nigel Morrison.

NZX gained 2 per cent to $1.03 and Heartland Bank rose 1.7 per cent to $1.19.

Ebos Group was the worst performer, down 2.8 per cent to $16.05, a six-week low.

Z Energy fell 2.7 per cent to $6.75. It's risen 2.7 per cent this year, and last month posted a 10 per cent increase in full-year operating earnings, as fuel and refining margins improved and the service station chain sold more fuel.

Meridian Energy dropped 1.7 per cent to $2.65, Infratil shed 1.2 per cent to $3.30 and Chorus declined 0.4 per cent to $3.975.

NZAX-listed GeoOp was unchanged at 30 cents. Auckland-based GeoOp, which develops a workforce management app, is asking shareholders to approve a deal where it will buy InterfaceIT for $9 million in shares and convertible notes.