27 Mar 2014

NZ shares little changed

7:14 pm on 27 March 2014

New Zealand shares were little changed on Thursday, the benchmark Top 50 Index gaining 2 points to 5127.

In sharp contrast, the Australian S&P 200 Index was down 30 percent at about 5pm and Wall Street's major indices fell overnight.

Hamilton, Hinden, Green director Grant Williamson says investors in the New Zealand market have been disregarding weakness in offshore markets.

He says investors are concentrating on the local economic fundamentals which are supporting the current share prices on the market.

Mr Williamson says although Xero has been a star performer in the last 12 months, there is starting to be a bit of profit-taking in that stock.

He says end of financial year and end of quarter reweightings by a number of fund managers can also move that share price.

Mr Williamson says Synlait gave investors high expectations a few months ago when it upgraded its earnings forecast, but it has not managed to achieve that which has resulted in disappointed investors selling the stock off.

Xero shares fell $2.45, or 5.6 percent, to $41 while Synlait shares dropped 28 cents, or 7 percent, to $3.71.

NZ dollar up against currencies of most trading partners

The New Zealand dollar rose against the currencies of all the nation's trading partners with the exception of the Australian dollar.

Rankin Treasury Advisory managing director Derek Rankin says it was more a case of the Australian dollar rising.

He says the New Zealand dollar has been pushing higher for some time and the economic data in New Zealand continues to be strong and the outlook for higher interest rates continues to support the New Zealand dollar.

Mr Rankin says the Australian dollar for the first time in some time is strengthening against most currencies

At about 5pm, the Kiwi was trading at 93.37 Australian cents, down more than half a cent from that time on Wednesday, at 86.24 US cents, 52.01 British pence, 62.56 euro, 87.99 yen and 5.36 renminbi.