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NZ stocks up on first day of 2017

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 4/01/2017 Sophie Boot

New Zealand shares rose on the first trading day of the year, buoyed by overseas sentiment, with Ryman Healthcare, Auckland International Airport and ANZ Banking Group gaining.

The S&P/NZX50 Index gained 93.09 points, or 1.4 per cent, to 6,974.31 on Wednesday. Within the index, 29 stocks rose, 13 fell and eight were unchanged. Turnover was $121.5 million.

Wall Street set the tone for the Asian trading session, with the Standard & Poor's 500 index up 0.9 per cent as the latest US manufacturing and building data stoked optimism about the strength of the US economy.

"The first day of trading from the US was a decent day and we've followed suit, the year's started off in reasonably good heart in terms of market sentiment. There isn't a whole lot of news out there, markets are in wait-and-see mode," said Craigs Investment Parnters' Mark Lister.

Ryman Healthcare led the index, gaining 3.6 per cent to $8.40, while Auckland International Airport advanced 3.5 per cent to $6.47 and Fisher & Paykel Healthcare Corp rose 2.9 per cent to $8.77.

"Some of the blue chips are performing well - Auckland Airport, Fisher & Paykel Healthcare which is obviously a beneficiary of a weaker NZ dollar, the US dollar's still pretty strong so maybe that's giving it a little bit of support at the moment," Mr Lister said.

Spark New Zealand gained 2.6 per cent to $3.50, while Port of Tauranga was up 2.6 per cent to $3.95.

Dual-listed ANZ gained 3.3 per cent to $32.69. The bank has agreed to sell its 20 per cent holding in Shanghai Rural Commercial Bank for $1.9 billion, or 9.19 billion yuan.

Comvita was the worst performer on the index, down 5 per cent to $7.63.

Stride Property dropped 2.3 per cent to $1.73, while Investore Property declined 0.7 per cent to $1.36.

"Property stocks are showing some weakness - I think that's probably a further unwinding of the yield trade taking place, interest rates moved up pretty sharply in the second half of 2016 and most people are of the view that will continue," Mr Lister said.

Warehouse Group fell 2.1 per cent to $2.79. Mr Lister said the retailer had seen some weakness after it issued a profit warning late last year about Christmas trading.

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