18 Mar 2014

Sharemarket hits record high

6:43 pm on 18 March 2014

The sharemarket has hit a new record, with the the NZX Top 50 Index climbing 48 points to 5136.

The index has risen 399 points, or 8.4 percent, since the start of the year.

Harbour Funds Management analyst Craig Stent said the easing of tensions in Ukraine helped improve sentiment.

"Obviously, US markets and global markets were up stronger overnight, so a more positive tone towards the markets," Mr Stent said.

"I think New Zealand is just generally viewed as being relatively safe and having a good economy and just bubbling along.

"There's quite good demand from offshore investors in New Zealand stocks at the moment."

Ryman shares rose 15 cents to $8.60, Mighty River Power shares climbed 6.5 cents to $2.07 and Meridian's gained 2 cents to $1.09.5.

Dollar stronger

The New Zealand dollar is stronger against the US dollar, again on lessening global tensions.

But ASB Bank external foreign exchange sales head Tim Kelleher said the currency's latest surge might be short-lived.

"The Kiwi's had a good day following on from a strong night in equities in the US, and also the bloodless coup in Russia has been seen as a positive.

"Ahead of Thursday, I think we may see some profit taking, given that we have the Federal Reserve first thing Thursday morning followed by New Zealand GDP."

Just after 5pm, the New Zealand dollar was buying: 85.61 US cents, 94.21 Australian cents, 51.45 pence, 0.6146 euro and 87.13 yen.