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Tower, Genesis gain as NZ stock index hits record

The index has gained 1.5 per cent this week, and has closed at a record for seven consecutive trading sessions.
The index has gained 1.5 per cent this week, and has closed at a record for seven consecutive trading sessions.

New Zealand shares hit a record high for a seventh straight session, though trading was quieter after Thursday's surprise interest rate cut by the Reserve Bank and volatility in international markets overnight. Tower, Contact Energy and Genesis Energy gained, while Trustpower fell.

The S&P/NZX 50 Index rose 7.1 points, or 0.1 per cent, to 6515.42. Within the index, 27 stocks rose, 20 fell and three were unchanged. Turnover was $153.9 million.

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The index has gained 1.5 per cent this week, and has closed at a record for seven consecutive trading sessions. Thursday saw a 0.8 per cent gain after Reserve Bank governor Graeme Wheeler cut the official cash rate a quarter-point to a record low 2.25 per cent and hinted at a further cut, with the kiwi's consequent tumble helping companies that earn most of their revenue offshore.

European and American stock markets ended lower after the European Central Bank cut interest rates but president Mario Draghi suggested it was running out of room for further easing.

"Flows seem to be driving stocks more than new news," said James Lindsay, senior portfolio manager at Nikko Asset Management.

Tower led the local index, up 4 per cent to $1.82, a one-month high. Contact Energy rose 2.7 per cent to $4.57. The stock had been held back by issues around earnings and competition, Lindsay said.

Genesis Energy gained 1.7 per cent to $2.05 and Mainfreight climbed 1.6 per cent to $16.10.

Warehouse Group advanced 1.4 per cent to $2.85. The country's largest listed retailer beat its first-half profit forecast by $2 million. Steel & Tube Holdings advanced 1.4 per cent to $2.26, Orion Health Group rose 1.3 per cent to $3.04 and Trade Me Group climbed 1.2 per cent to $4.35.

Trustpower was the worst performer, dropping 1.9 per cent to $7.41. The Tauranga-based company is going ahead with plans to spin out its windfarms and renewable development pipeline into a separate business, and will put the demerger to a shareholder vote in July.

Air New Zealand fell 1.6 per cent to $2.79. Z Energy dropped 1.4 per cent to $6.50, ANZ Banking Group shed 1.3 per cent to $28.44 and Fonterra Shareholders' Fund dipped 1.2 per cent to $5.61.

Outside the NZX 50, skincare and fragrance company Trilogy International advanced 1.5 per cent to $3.35. NZAX-listed GeoOp shares fell 7.9 per cent to 35c.

- BusinessDesk

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