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Auckland Airport Lower, Infratil Higher On Australian Deals

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Wellington, Jan 11 NZPA - Shares in Auckland Airport fell today on news of an investment in Australia while shares in Infratil rose on news of a divestment in Australia.

Overall the benchmark NZSX-50 index closed down 6.477 points, or 0.196 percent, at 3303.749, having reached a 15-month high on Friday. Turnover was worth $75.2 million. There were 46 rises and 29 falls among the 117 stocks traded.

Corporate activity enlivened an otherwise quiet Monday market.

Auckland Airport fell 6c, or 2.88 percent, to 202 after the airport operator said it had agreed to buy from Westpac Bank a 24.55 percent stake in North Queensland Airports for $A132.8 million ($NZ166m).

The move is seen as a diversification and way of accessing the Asian tourism market.

"The market needs some convincing that it is not just expansion for expansion sake and that the rationale is going to work out. Time will tell," said Stephen Wright of ASB Securities.

Investors also wondered what influence Auckland Airport would have with a partial stake but believed as an airport operator it may be able to add value to the Australian business.

Infratil rose 3c, or 1.81 percent, to 169 after announcing the sale of all of its shares in Australia's Energy Developments at a price that should give the infrastructure investor a $94m gain in its annual result. The sale of at least part of the stake was clearly signalled earlier. NZ Refining rose 4c to 369.

Otherwise, a new year rally continued to bolster leading stocks. Continuing strong economic data in Australia was helping companies exposed to that market but a rise in the New Zealand dollar above US74c was a negative for exporters. Retailers also continue to be mixed.

Fletcher Building rose 12c to 844 and Contact Energy rose 2c to 634.

The Warehouse eased 1c to 410 and Hellaby rose 1c to 170. Hallenstein Glasson fell 5c to 325.

The Australian sharemarket was strong, helping Westpac to rise 18c to 3168 and AMP to rise 5c to 806.

Rakon eased a cent to 115, SkyTV eased a cent to 517 and Restaurant Brands eased a cent to 173.

PGG Wrightson rose 3c to 64 and Pyne Gould Corp rose 1c to 48.

NZX rose 6c to 232 and Ebos rose 9c to 595. Fisher & Paykel Appliances rose 1c to 63.

Fisher & Paykel Healthcare fell 7c to 332 and Oceania Gold rose 6c to 248.

In the United States, stocks rose on Friday (local time) after trading in the red most of the day as investors concluded weak December jobs data would not interrupt a trend of steady economic recovery.

The S&P 500 and the Dow hit new 15-month highs while the Nasdaq climbed to its highest level in 16 months. Friday closed a strong week for US stocks with the S&P 500 climbing all five sessions.

The economy unexpectedly shed 85,000 jobs in December, the Labor Department reported, but analysts said this was not inconsistent with a slowly recovering economy as the pace of monthly jobs losses have declined sharply since the height of the recession.

In addition, November's payrolls report was revised to a gain in jobs, bolstering that view.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 0.1 percent to 10,618.19, the Standard & Poor's 500 Index climbed 0.3 percent to 1144.98, and the Nasdaq Composite Index added 0.7 percent to 2317.17.


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