By Paul McBeth
April 23 (BusinessDesk) - The S&P/NZX 50 Index broke through the 10,000 level for the first time in trading today as exporters such as A2 Milk and Fisher & Paykel Healthcare benefited from a weaker kiwi dollar.
The benchmark index rose 59.78 points, or 0.6 percent, to 10,019.40 as at 1.20pm. It climbed as high as 10,036. It's taken about five years for the index to double from 5,000, and it was another five years to reach that mark from 2,500 in the fallout of the global financial crisis.
"The big 10,000 - it's pretty impressive really from where we've come from," said Grant Williamson, a director at Hamilton Hindin Greene.
"The market continues its very solid uptrend from the pullback of late last year. We were close to 8,500 and in a very short period of time the market's put on more than 15 percent."
F&P Healthcare led the market higher in early trading, up 3.3 percent at $15.66. A2 advanced 2 percent to $16.02.
Exporters were buoyed by the kiwi dollar falling below 67 US cents, which boosts the value of overseas earnings when converted back into local currency. Among other exporters to gain, fishing company Sanford rose 1.5 percent to $6.95. Outside the benchmark index, Comvita was up 1.2 percent at $4.20 and winemaker Delegat Group increased 0.8 percent to $10.28.
Williamson said trading was spurred on when Australia opened, with a reasonable bout of buying from foreign investors. While yield stocks - those that pay reliable dividends - have been in vogue, he said buying wasn't limited to that group of companies, with growth stocks such as A2 and F&P Health also attracting interest.
Trading volume was relatively quiet in a holiday-shortened week. Spark New Zealand was the most traded stock so far, with a volume of 575,000 shares changing hands. It increased by 0.4 percent to $3.715. Genesis Energy rose 0.8 percent to $3.085 on a volume of 362,000 shares.