NZ shares rose along with global markets as speculation about interest rate cuts stoked demand for equities, with Kathmandu Holdings, Property for Industry and Auckland International Airport gaining.
The S&P NZX 50 Index gained 28.71 points, or 0.4 per cent, to 6926.23. Within the index, 23 stocks rose, 23 fell and four were unchanged. Turnover was $163.8 million. The index has gained 3.9 per cent this week, rising every day after being sold off heavily last Friday following the UK's vote to leave the EU.
Markets across the globe strengthened yesterday, with Australia's S&P/ASX 200 increasing 0.2 per cent in afternoon trading ahead of the national election today. "It's been another very good day on the back of offshore markets again firming up, concerns over the British exit don't seem to exist right at the moment - or maybe it's more a reaction to [the likelihood] interest rates around the world are going to go lower, and that's good for equities," said Grant Williamson, director at Hamilton Hindin Greene. "There hasn't been much in the way of stock-specific news, the spotlight will be on Australia this weekend. Dare I say the decision looks like an easy one this time, although I think we all thought that last week with the British vote."
Kathmandu was the best performer yesterday, up 3.9 per cent to $1.59. It advanced 15 per cent on Thursday after raising its forecast for annual earnings. Property for Industry gained 3.2 per cent to $1.62, Auckland Airport rose 2.3 per cent to $6.65 and Summerset Group advanced 2.3 per cent to $4.48.
Warehouse Group gained 1.8 per cent to $2.82. Joan Withers will take over as chair of the Warehouse in September, having decided she won't seek reappointment to her role as chair of Television New Zealand when her term ends early next year.
Xero was the worst performer, down 1.9 per cent to $17.85. Vital Healthcare Property Trust dropped 1.8 per cent to $2.19, Ebos Group fell 1.6 per cent to $16.10 and Trade Me Group declined 1.3 per cent to $4.57. Restaurant Brands dipped 0.4 per cent. The board of the fast-food operator has asked shareholders to approve an 18 per cent boost to its pool for directors' fees.
The benchmark index will see an addition next week, with Stride Property's wholly-owned subsidiary, Investore Property, joining the S&P/NZX 50 index next Wednesday until at least September.