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Shares edge up; Genesis gains over rivals

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 15/06/2017

NZX signage  in Wellington.  (File photo) © Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images NZX signage in Wellington. (File photo) New Zealand shares edged up in light trading on Thursday as the lead-up up to the end of the June financial year has investors waiting on earnings updates.

Genesis Energy gained as the power company's thermal assets look set to insulate it from low hydro-lake levels, while Heartland Bank followed the Australian banks lower.

The S&P/NZX 50 index increased 32.36 points, or 0.4 per cent, to 7516.35. Within the index, 27 stocks gained, 14 fell and nine were unchanged. Turnover was $121.2 million in a day where 11 stocks reported more than 1 million shares changing hands.

Genesis rose 1.3 per cent to $2.345 near a record-high $2.38 it set earlier this month.

The electricity generator-retailer is expected to benefit from the low hydro-lake levels in the South Island, meaning its rivals may have to buy its thermal energy in the wholesale market to meet retail demand.

"There might be some underlying support, particularly because of the listed gen-tailers it has a lot more exposure to thermal," said James Smalley, a director at Hamilton Hindin Greene in Christchurch.

"Playing in the back of investors' minds is that people are very positive about the recent gas acquisition they made."

Among other power companies, Meridian Energy gained 1.4 per cent to $2.95, Mercury NZ increased 0.3 per cent to $3.27, and Contact Energy advanced 0.6 per cent to $5.14.

Tegel Holdings led the market higher, rising 2.7 per cent to $1.13.

The poultry company reported an unusually large volume of shares changing hands earlier this week.

Air New Zealand slipped 0.3 per cent to $3.185, ending a 22 per cent gain since former Prime Minister John Key was named as a director-elect. Some 3.5 million shares changed hands, marking the biggest volume on the benchmark.

Dual-listed bank Westpac posted the biggest fall on the day, down 1.4 per cent to $32.22 and ANZ group fell 0.9 per cent to $29.60. Locally-listed lender Heartland dropped 1.1 per cent to $1.76, near the $1.81 record it set in May.

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