22 May 2014

Share market up after run of falls

6:31 pm on 22 May 2014

New Zealand shares have broken a five-day losing streak, with the benchmark Top 50 Index finishing the day 20 points up at 5129.

Software accounting firm Xero dragged on the index after reporting a $35.5 million annual loss, with sahres falling 27 cents to $32.23.

Chief executive Rod Drury said his company had had a big year, including taking on more than 350 new staff.

"Part of it was building capability inside the team. The really big story of Xero last year was adding over 350 new people, and it's just a huge amount of work to get those people on board, get them productive and all of those things," he said.

Brokers said the loss was much as expected but some investors could have been surprised by the size of it.

Elsewhere, Comvita gained 30 cents to $3.50 after it bought a manuka honey company for $12.3 million.

And Chorus shares fell 4 cents to $1.71 after the Commerce Commission said it would delay its final decision on the pricing of telecommunications services over copper wires by up to four months.

Dollar falls against Australian

The New Zealand dollar gained against other currencies on Thursday but fell against the Australian dollar.

Bancorp Treasury Services client adviser Peter Cavanaugh said a rebound in iron ore prices boosted the Australian dollar.

"The fall in the price of iron ore was what drove the Australian dollar down earlier this week, so that rebound of course flowed through to the Australian dollar," Mr Cavanaugh said.

"That has lifted the New Zealand-US exchange rate and it's caused the New Zealand-Australian dollar exchange rate to fall."

Just after 5pm, the New Zealand dollar was buying: 85.81 US dollars, 92.54 Australian dollars, 50.79 pence, 0.6275 euro, 87.27 yen and 5.35 renminbi.