19 Mar 2014

Sharemarket rises for third day

7:30 pm on 19 March 2014

The sharemarket rose for a third day, the benchmark Top 50 Index hitting a fresh record at 5160 points before closing up 19 points at 5155.

Hamilton, Hinden, Green director Grant Williamson says investor confidence and the local economy are working in the market's favour. He says KiwiSaver funds coming into the market are currently underpinning share prices.

Meridian's instalment receipts rose 1.5 cents to $1.11, Contract shares gained 11 cents to $5.36 and Mighty River Power shares climbed 3 cents to $2.10.

But shares in Pumpkin Patch fell 13 cents, or 19 percent, to 55 cents after it reported its first-half net profit dropped 98 percent to $106,000.

Mr Williamson says it was a big disappointment for investors in Pumpkin Patch which is still undergoing a fair amount of restructuring and had a record low share price on Wednesday.

The New Zealand dollar rose strongly against the US dollar at closing on Wednesday compared to the same time on Tuesday.

ANZ banks senior foreign exchange strategist Sam Tuck says the strength against the US is more to do with supply and demand and less to do with the announcement that the Kiwi and Chinese currency will be directly traded.

At about 5pm on Wednesday, the Kiwi was trading at 86.12 US cents, up about half a cent.

And it's stronger against the country's other major trading partners at 94.48 Australian cents, 51.91 British pence, 0.6183 euro and 87.24 yen.