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NZ shares rise as investors hunt for yield

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 4/04/2017 Rebecca Howard

New Zealand stocks were led higher by Meridian Energy on Tuesday as companies with high dividends remained in favour.

Trading was light, however, as a dearth of domestic and international drivers kept many investors on the sidelines.

The S&P/NZX 50 Index rose 20 points, or 0.3 per cent, to 7,244.54. Within the index, 24 stocks rose, 16 fell and 10 were unchanged. Turnover was $166 million.

Asian markets saw light trading as investors were cautious ahead of a meeting between US President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping later this week.

"Trading is pretty quiet but that seems to be the case around the world," said Bryon Burke, head of equities at Craigs Investment Partners.

Electricity generator-retailer Meridian led the market higher, while lines company Vector also gained.

"There's a bit of a bias toward the yield stocks today," Mr Burke said, adding that gen-tailers were faring well. Meridian rose 3.2 per cent to $2.89 and Vector added 1.6 per cent to $3.20.

Property for Industry increased 0.6 per cent to $1.62 after investors digested Monday's news the managers of PFI will reap a $42 million payday under a proposal for the industrial property investor to internalise the management contract, a deal Deloitte has deemed fair.

On the downside, Orion Healthcare continued to be battered after a series of brokerages downgraded their view on the stock and their 12-month target price.

"We are just seeing order flow following those broker reports," said Mr Burke. The stock shed 15 per cent to $1.42.

Sky Network Television was the biggest loser on the day, falling 3.1 per cent to $3.76.

Units in the Fonterra Shareholders Fund fell 1.8 per cent, or 11 cents, to $6.01, after shedding the right to a 20 per share interim dividend.

Investors will be keeping a close eye on the GlobalDairyTrade auction.

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