25 Feb 2014

Investors' appetite for risk increases

7:51 pm on 25 February 2014

The New Zealand dollar rose against the currencies of all the country's major trading partners with the exception of the Australian dollar, against which it was steady.

Westpac currency strategist Imre Speizer said there had been an improvement in investors' appetite for risk.

"The main cause of the rise in the Kiwi over the past day was last night's improvement in global risk appetite, which pushed up stock markets and in turn risky currencies like the Aussie and the Kiwi," Mr Speizer said.

"This afternoon we had some news that the Chinese authorities are still engineering a weaker currency there, and that caused the Kiwi to pull back a bit but it's still net up on the day."

Just after 5pm, the New Zealand dollar was buying: 83.33 US cents, 92.29 Australian cents, 49.98 pence, 0.6065 euro and 85.43 yen.

Results focus

The share market was little changed, the NZX Top 50 Index falling 2 points to 4968.

Murray & Co wealth management director Johnny Cochrane said the market continued to focus on company results.

Summerset on Tuesday reported a net profit of $32 million, up on the previous year but probably slightly behind expectations, he said.

"They came out with a relatively positive outlook for the future, and the market is looking through today's result into the future, and so the stock's up today and looks to trend higher over the next few months."

Summerset shares peaked at $3.50 but ended the day 11 cents higher, or more than 3 percent, at $3.44, Heartland shares gained 1 cent to 91 cents while Fisher & Paykel Healthcare shares eased 5 cents to $4.10. Fisher & Paykel shares have gained more than 60 percent in the past 12 months.

Also reporting on Tuesday was PGG Wrightson, which lifted first-half net profit nearly three-fold to $13.4 million under new chief executive Mark Dewdney. The company's shares rose 2 cents to 44 cents.