Gold price boosts sharemarket

March 25, 2013

New Zealand stocks rose at the open this morning, with OceanaGold continuing to make gains on the back of high global gold prices due to continuing turmoil in Cyprus.

The benchmark NZX 50 index was up 9.21 points or 0.2 per cent at 4352.09 shortly after the market opened.

Within the index 16 stocks rose, seven declined, and 27 remained unchanged.

Continuing last week’s gains goldminer OceanaGold Corp, the miner which operates the Macraes and Reefton goldfields, rose 1.5 per cent to $3.45 on higher gold prices, which is perceived as safe haven in times of market anxiety.

Global gold prices reached a monthly high last week as people turned to the precious metal for stability among looming fears Cyprus would not reach an agreement on the conditions of a €10 billion bailout plan.

The Mediterranean island nation has until today to come up with a plan to source €5.8b (NZ$9b) or face expulsion from the eurozone.

The next-biggest gainer was New Zealand’s largest telecommunications company Telecom, which rose 0.9 per cent to $2.24, despite forecasts of heavy staff cutbacks.

The third-biggest gainer was EBOS, the medical and pharmaceutical products company, which rose 0.9 per cent to $9.18, followed by investment holding company Guinness Peat Group, which rose 0.8 per cent to trade at 60 cents.

SkyCity Entertainment Group, the casino and hotel operator, led the decliners dropping 2.3 per cent to $4.26, as it went ex-dividend today. Heartland Bank, New Zealand’s newest bank, continued its decline, dropping 1.3 per cent to 74c.

Pumpkin Patch, the children’s clothing chain, fell 0.9 per cent to $1.17, following last week’s report of a slip in sales.


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