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NZX January trading volume drops, value edges up

The volume of cash trading on New Zealand's share market dropped in January from a year earlier, in what's typically a quiet month, though the value of trading edged up.

The total number of trades dropped 12 percent to 86,918 in January from the same month in 2014, with the daily average trades down 7.7 percent to 4,346, Wellington-based NZX said in its monthly shareholder metrics. While activity was more muted, the value of trading rose 0.8 percent to $2.2 billion in the month, with the daily average value traded up 5.8 percent to $108 million.

Equity transactions continued to dominate activity, with the number of trades down 12 percent to 85,445, for a 0.3 percent lift in value to $2.1 billion. Debt transactions remained soft, with an 11 percent drop to 1,473 trades in the month, for a 20 percent lift in value traded to $60 million.

New Zealand's stock market has become more attractive to investors in recent years with a flood of new listings driven by the government's partial privatisation programme and growing KiwiSaver funds looking for places to park their funds.

The number of equity securities rose 3.6 percent to 172 in January from a year earlier, while debt securities fell 4.6 percent to 83. The numbe of other securities rose 50 percent to nine, taking the total number of listed securities to 264, 1.9 percent higher than a year earlier.

The benchmark NZX 50 index marked its third year of double-digit growth in 2014, and at the end of January was 18 percent higher than a year earlier. It rose 3.2 percent in January to end the month at 5744. It closed yesterday at 5781.946.

At the end of the month, the market value of all equity was $99.8 billion, or 42.2 percent of gross domestic product, up 18 percent from a year earlier. The debt market was valued at $13.2 billion, or 5.6 percent of GDP, and down 2.7 percent from the end of January 2014.

No new capital was listed in January, and existing issuers raised $317 million across four events.

Shares of NZX last traded at $1.20, and have increased 2.6 percent this year. The stock was rated an average 'hold' based on three analyst recommendations compiled by Reuters.