Market's early strong run continues

OceanaGold leads rises with Fletcher Building hitting a new five-year high.

OceanaGold shares were up 3.82 per cent to $3.26. Photo / Grant Bradley
OceanaGold shares were up 3.82 per cent to $3.26. Photo / Grant Bradley

New Zealand shares continued their strong run-up since the New Year, with Fletcher Building hitting a new five-year high of $9.52, although Fonterra Shareholders Fund units dropped back below $7 for the first time this year as fallout from the DCD issue continued.

The NZX 50 rose 5.101 points, or 0.12 per cent, to 4252.647, its highest since October 2007.

Despite the overall increase, within the index 17 stocks rose, 21 fell, and 12 were unchanged. Turnover was $126.911 million.

"This is traditional for us," said Rickey Ward at Tyndall Investment Management.

"Generally, we start the year strong because people think it can't get worse, and then you get the earnings season and that tends to temper enthusiasm."

However, signs in the world and local economies at the beginning of 2013 looked stronger than for some time, Ward said, and a further rise in the New Zealand market was conceivable.

"Eight to 10 per cent would be a logical move from here and you could easily justify a higher number than that," he said, based on New Zealand shares' relatively high dividend yields compared with other markets.

However, it was still likely many companies would reflect tough 2012 trading conditions in their half-year results, due for release to the NZX over the next few weeks.

"Corporates are often not comfortable enough to predict the next 12 months," Ward said.

Leading the index higher were dual-listed OceanaGold, up 3.82 per cent to $3.26, Restaurant Brands, up 1.81 per cent to $2.81, and New Zealand Oil & Gas, which announced a return to two dividends a year and positive exploration plans this week. NZOG shares closed up 1.69 per cent on the day, at 90c.

Fletcher Building was up 1.38 per cent to $9.52, its highest in almost five years.

Meanwhile, FSF units sank 0.71 per cent to $6.98, having been above $7 since December 12.

Since fertiliser firms withdrew DCD from sale, FSF units have fallen from $7.23.

While the DCD issue appears not to involve serious risks for Fonterra, bad publicity is unwelcome, especially in the crucial Chinese market.

- BusinessDesk

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