New Zealand shares rose, joining a global rally, with A2 Milk up after raising its full-year revenue guidance, Fletcher Building and Tegel Group climbing from their recent lows and Spark rising on demand for its attractive yield.
The S&P/NZX 50 Index gained 112.2 points, or 1.6 per cent, to 7335.14. Within the index, 33 stocks gained, 14 fell and three were unchanged. Turnover was $272 million, including $122m in Spark shares.
Shares rose on Wall Street, with the Nasdaq Composite Index reaching a record high, and key equity benchmarks rose across Asia today as investors responded to what's seen as a market-friendly presidential election outcome in France and US President Donald Trump's imminent announcement on corporate tax cuts.
"There's a risk-on feel to it," said Greg Smith, head of research at Fat Prophets in Auckland.
A2 led the index higher, rising 7.8 per cent to a record $3.45 after the milk marketer forecast revenue of $525m in the year ending June 30, up from $352.8m a year earlier. A2 generated sales of $388m in the nine months ended March 31, with third-quarter sales of its infant formula, popular in China where rules have been tightened for internet sales, exceeding expectations.
"The changes we saw in China - it's all about rationing the number of brands available and improving the quality," Smith said. "A2 shouldn't be too scared if they are one of the brands."
Fletcher gained 3.8 per cent to $8.31, having sunk to a 12-month low last week on the back of an earnings downgrade. Tegel, whose shares have been punished in the face of a glut of product and rivalry from Australia's Ingham's, gained 2.6 per cent to $1.17.
"In New Zealand, we've seen some of the laggards rising on a bit of bargain hunting, rightly or wrongly," Smith said. "If you think we've seen a cyclical peak of the construction cycle you would not be jumping in and we certainly do." Tegel and Inghams are facing pricing pressure in the face of the glut and in a lot of supermarket chains overseas chicken is used as a loss leader. "Just because it has fallen doesn't necessarily make it cheap," he said.
Spark rose 1.8 per cent to $3.675 and Smith said it may be a beneficiary of Australian investors deeming that market as becoming overcrowded with telcos and being drawn to its yield of over 6 per cent. It has also benefitted from the regulator nixing Sky Network Television's proposed tie-up with Vodafone New Zealand.
Sky TV fell 0.3 per cent to $3.83 today.
Among other stocks, Ebos Group rose 4.7 per cent to $18.90. Auckland International Airport rose 2.4 per cent to $6.84 after figures showed net inbound migration remains at record levels while short-term visitor arrivals chalked up another annual record, although there was a dip in March from the same month last year.
Australia & New Zealand Banking Group gained 2.6 per cent to $35.12 and Westpac Banking Corp rose 1.9 per cent to $37.77.
Fisher & Paykel Healthcare rose 2.3 per cent to $9.82, Summerset Group gained 2 per cent to $5.29 and Xero rose 1.8 per cent to $20.85.