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NZX cash trading value jumps by 58 percent in February from a year earlier

Wednesday 6th March 2013

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The value of cash market trading on New Zealand's stock exchange jumped 58 percent in February from the same month a year earlier as low interest rates keep investors looking for better returns.

Total trades increased 4.8 percent to 81,624 last month from February 2011 with the total value traded at $3.5 billion, according to the NZX's monthly metrics. Average daily trades rose 10 percent to 4,296 with average daily value traded surging by more than two-thirds to $182 million.

Shares trading gained 6 percent to 79,059, with a 61 percent lift in value to $3.4 billion, accounting for most of the stock exchange's gains. Debt trades fell 23 percent to 2,565 in February with a 17 percent decline in value traded to $75 million.

The benchmark NZX 50 index is up 4.6 percent this year as it knocks around five-year highs, with increasing demand for strong dividend yields attracting investors fed up with low returns in term deposits.

The NZX's equity markets were valued at $69.7 billion at the end of February, up 22 percent from a year earlier, and accounting for about 33.6 percent of gross domestic product.

The number of equity securities fell 2.9 percent to 166 in February from a year earlier, while debt securities shed 11 percent to 96.

The stock exchange is about to add its first listing of the year today, with mobile advertising firm Snakk Media set to debut on the small-cap NZAX.

NZX shares fell 0.8 percent to $1.26 today, and have advanced 6.6 percent this year.

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