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Current as of 23/02/17 06:19PM NZST

Stockmarket index edges higher after a tough week

By Sophie Boot

Air New Zealand  gained 1.8 per cent to $1.745. Photo / Jason Oxenham
Air New Zealand gained 1.8 per cent to $1.745. Photo / Jason Oxenham

NZ shares rose slightly, led by Summerset Group Holdings and Air New Zealand, while Steel & Tube Holdings also gained.

The S&P/NZX50 Index rose 13.21 points, or 0.2 per cent, to 7133.26. Within the index, 26 stocks rose, 16 fell and eight were unchanged. Turnover was $111 million.

"We are a touch firmer but overall it hasn't been a very good week for the market," said Grant Williamson, director at Hamilton Hindin Greene. "The market still seems to be under a bit of selling pressure, but we have seen a rebound in certain stocks that have been sold off in recent times. It's a bit of a mixed bag. We've pretty much followed Australia."

Air New Zealand gained 1.8 per cent to $1.745, bouncing off Thursday's two-year low.

"It's been hit very hard with investors thinking increased competition and slightly higher oil prices are going to have an impact on that company.

To me, it looks like that's been a little bit overdone," Williamson said. "In the past few weeks we've seen some foreign selling in our market, and we're starting to see the end of that."

The local index has dropped 3.1per cent this month as investors have grown increasingly wary about the US Federal Reserve hiking that country's interest rates, which would make the yields of NZ listed companies less attractive. However, the index is still up 12.6 per cent this year.

"I think investors are a little bit nervous with what's happening overseas. We've had some small sell-offs in the American market, and I think investors are being a bit cautious at the moment," Williamson said. "This correction is relatively healthy."

Summerset Group led the index, up 1.9 per cent to $4.86. Contact Energy gained 1.7 per cent to $4.90 and Xero rose 1.7 per cent to $17.89.

NZ Refining Co was the worst performer, down 2.5 per cent to $2.34, while Auckland International Airport dropped 1.8 per cent to $6.62, Tower fell 1.6 per cent to 90.5c and Trade Me Group shed 1.5 per cent to $5.24.

Outside the benchmark index, Steel & Tube Holdings advanced 3.3 per cent to $2.22. It will buy Composite Floor Decks, which supplies and installs composite floor decking, for $13.3m, with a further $3m possible based on its performance in the next two years.

Scott Technology gained 4.8 per cent to $2.20. On Thursday, it reported a record $11m in full-year pre-tax profits.

- BusinessDesk

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