The two biggest and most favoured stocks - Fisher and Paykel Healthcare and a2 Milk - provided the New Zealand sharemarket with a head of steam today.
The two heavyweights, whose combined capitalisation of nearly $37 billion makes up a quarter of the market's weighting, attracted strong trading, with more than $35 million worth of their shares changing hands.
Fisher and Paykel increased $1.13 or 3.13 per cent to $37.18 – it has risen $14 since March 13, just before the Covid-19 lockdown - and a2 Milk was up 31c to $21.11.
The S&P/NZX 50 Index was also buoyed by a strong showing in the United States. The technology-driven Nasdaq Index reached a record high, increasing 157.52 points or 1.47 per cent to 10,902.80 and having soared nearly 60 per cent since its March 23 low. The Dow Jones Industrial Index climbed 236 points to 26,664.40.
The Nasdaq perked up on news that Microsoft was in talks to buy mobile video firm TikTok and its Beijing-parent company ByteDance. Microsoft's share price climbed US$11.53 or 5.62 per cent, while Apple increased $10.71 to $435.75.
Safe haven, gold, increased slightly to $1976.35 an oz, while silver was steady at $24.30 an oz. United States sharemarkets are now waiting on the outcome of a further government coronavirus stimulus package.
The NZX index, supported by a late burst of trading, climbed nearly 1 per cent, finishing at 11,772 points, up 0.91 per cent or 106 points. Volume improved dramatically from Monday, with 61.25 million shares worth $180m traded.
Dan Stratful, an investment adviser with Forsyth Barr, said when there's a good night on Wall Street the New Zealand market goes higher. "Our market is eking out more little gains and continues to recover from the Covid sell-off in March."
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He said the electricity companies are also recovering following the announcement that the Tiwai Point aluminium smelter is closing. "The companies are offering sustainable dividends … unlike the radical cuts from the likes of Auckland Airport, Z Energy and SkyCity."
All six energy stocks powered ahead. The biggest movers were Trustpower up 13c to $6.78, Mercury rising 9.5c to $4.735, and Contact Energy up 8c to $5.93.
Ryman Healthcare reported construction at three Australian retirement villages has slowed because of the Melbourne lockdown and its share price fell 32c or 2.42 per cent to $12.88.
NZX said it was partnering with BNP Paribas Securities which would act as a clearing house for offshore capital flows into the New Zealand market. NZX's share price moved 1c to $1.46.
ANZ Bank and Westpac recovered strongly from Monday's losses, the former rising 50c to $19.07 and the latter 46c to $18.21. Scales Corporation was also up 5c to $4.98, while airport software company Gentrack rose 7c or 5.79 per cent to $1.28.