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Current as of 02/12/16 07:39PM NZST

Local shares gain on global optimism

By Edwin Mitson

Australia and New Zealand Banking Group gains 3.3 per cent to $24.78.Photo / Steven McNicholl
Australia and New Zealand Banking Group gains 3.3 per cent to $24.78.Photo / Steven McNicholl

New Zealand shares joined a global rally in equity markets with an upbeat US employment report giving investors confidence in the strength of the world's biggest economy, while an outcome in Australia's federal election boosted stocks there.

The S&P/NZX 50 Index rose 62.35, or 0.9 per cent, to 7062.45 - a record. Within the index, 37 stocks gained, seven fell and six were unchanged. Turnover was $105.8 million.

Investors also took heart from Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe winning an election for the upper house of parliament and Australia's leader Malcolm Turnbull emerging on top after a week of uncertainty.

Australia's dual-listed banks led the local market gains, with Westpac Banking Corp up 4 per cent to $30.20 and Australia and New Zealand Banking Group gaining 3.3 per cent to $24.78.

Construction and building products firm Fletcher Building rose 2.2 per cent to $8.77 and telecommunications group Spark New Zealand gained 1.6 per cent to $3.82.

Shane Solly, portfolio manager at Harbour Asset Management, said Fletcher was lifted by a rally in building materials companies in Australia, while Spark continued to offer an attractive dividend yield.

Software developers Orion Health Group and Xero were up 3.6 per cent to $4.90 and 2.5 per cent to $18.14 respectively.

Kiwi Property Group rose 1.3 per cent to $1.535. The board will ask shareholders for a pay rise at this month's annual meeting.

Infratil shares gained 0.6 per cent to $3.29 after the infrastructure investor said its acquisition of Canberra Data Centres would be delayed by the slow outcome of Australia's election.

Warehouse Group, the country's biggest listed retailer, rose 1.1 per cent to $2.81 after government figures showed retail spending on credit and debit cards rose 1.2 per cent last month. Online auction site Trade Me Group was up 1.3 per cent to $4.87.

Auckland International Airport rose 0.3 per cent to $6.98 and Air New Zealand shares increased 0.2 per cent to $2.15 after China's Tianjin Airlines said it plans to start operating a service to New Zealand from December this year.

The Fonterra Shareholders' Fund posted the biggest fall on the day, with the units down 0.9 per cent to $5.41. Other stocks to fall include Heartland Bank down 0.8 per cent to $1.24, Skellerup Holdings dropping 0.8 per cent to $1.24, and Genesis Energy slipping 0.2 per cent to $2.13.

Outside the benchmark index, T&G Global was unchanged at $2.50. Chinese fruit firm Golden Wing Mau Agricultural Produce built up a 19.99 per cent stake, paying an 18 per cent premium to make it the second biggest shareholder.

On the NZAX, GeoOp climbed 11 per cent to 31c after the management app developer said annual revenue beat expectations, while Geneva Finance fell 3.2 per cent to 46c after declaring a special dividend payable in August.

- BusinessDesk

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