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MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares mixed in light trading; Rakon gains

MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares mixed in light trading; Rakon leads gainers, PGC slips

Dec. 29 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand shares were mixed in subdued holiday season trading, with the NZX 50 Index edging lower paced by Pyne Gould Corp. and Rakon Ltd. leading gainers.

The NZX 50 fell 3.59, or 0.1% to 3325.61, rounding out the second daily decline. Within the index, 16 stocks rose, 12 fell and 22 were unchanged or untraded. Turnover on the benchmark was $18.3 million, well below the annual average but up from $16 million on Dec. 29, 2009.

Pyne Gould Corp. fell 2.6% to 38 cents. The company intent on creating a bank through the merger of Marac and two building societies has agreed to sell its stake in PGG Wrightson Ltd. to Chinese interest in the event a takeover of Wrightson proceeds. It will book a loss on the sale, leading to a first half loss.

Rakon, which makes crystal oscillators used in navigation systems and mobile phones, gained 1.7% to $1.20. The stock is up 35% in the past six months. The shares are rated 'outperform' based on the consensus of five recommendations compiled by Reuters.

New Zealand Oil & Gas climbed 1.2% to 85 cents as the price of gold held near a 26-month high. Crude oil for delivery in February touched US$91.88 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange on Monday and was recently at US$91.33 in Asia's day.

Pan Pacific Petroleum rose 4.8% to 22 cents.

OceanaGold Corp., which operates the Macraes goldfield, gained 0.8% to $4.84. Spot gold held near US$1,400 an ounce in Asia, a two-week high.

Telecom Corp. fell 1.8% to $2.18. The shares are rated 'hold' based on Reuters data, though the range stretches from 'buy' to 'sell'.

Goodman Fielder Ltd. was the biggest decliner on the NZX 50, falling 2.7% to $1.80. Its ASX-listed shares fell a more benign 0.4% to A$1.35.


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