NZX50 up as investors seek bargains

Reported by AAP
Tuesday, April 10, 2012

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New Zealand shares gained at the start of a shortened trading week as investors took the opportunity to buy blue-chip stocks such as Telecom, SkyCity Entertainment Group and Contact Energy.

The NZX 50 Index rose 7.12 points, or 0.2 per cent, to 3475.1. Within the index, 20 stocks gained, 17 fell and 13 were unchanged. Turnover was a smaller than normal $67.8 million.

The local stock market bucked regional weakness as Asian and Australian equities declined after soft US jobs figures pushed the Dow Jones Industrial Average down 1 per cent on Monday.

"The local market put in a very good performance today, despite weakness on the Dow Jones," said Grant Williamson, director at Hamilton Hindin Greene.

"There was some demand for a couple of blue-chip stocks" which helped underpin the market's gains.

SkyCity rose 1.8 per cent to $3.92, Telecom gained 1.6 per cent to $2.47 and Contact advanced 0.6 per cent to $4.69, leading the index higher.

Fletcher Building fell 1 per cent to $6.14, bucking the trend among index heavyweights.

Fisher & Paykel Healthcare rose 0.9 per cent to $2.33 after the New Zealand dollar pared gains in local trading after China unexpectedly posted a trade surplus for the month of March.

The currency traded at 82.01 US cents at 5pm.

Shares in Heartland New Zealand dropped 4 per cent to 48 cents, the biggest decline on the index, after the lender's chief financial officer Sean Kam announced his resignation.

Shares in New Zealand Experience, which operates the Rainbow's End amusement park, were unchanged at 40 cents apiece after the company said it would spend $3.5 million upgrading its Castle Land area for young children in a bid to boost medium term profitability.

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