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MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares rise; NZOG catches commodity wave

MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares rise; NZOG catches commodity wave

Dec. 30 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand shares rose in low-paced holiday trading. New Zealand Oil & Gas climbed 2.5%, its third daily gain, as commodity prices firmed.

The NZX 50 Index rose 8.64, or 0.3%, to 3334.26, the first increase in three sessions. Within the index, 18 stocks fell, 16 rose and 16 were unchanged or untraded. Turnover was $40.5 million, with more than half of that accounted for by Australia & New Zealand Banking Group, which is dual traded.

NZ Oil & Gas rose 2.4% to 87 cents. Crude oil hit a 26-month high on Monday and has held above US$91 a barrel. Commodity prices have rallied, with copper reaching a record high and gold gaining.

Sanford Ltd., the fishing company, rose 3% to $4.74, leading the index higher.
Property trusts were among leading gainers. Property for Industry rose 2.7% to $1.14, AMP NZ Office Trust gained 2.6% to 79 cents, Kiwi Income Property Trust rose 2% to $1.02 and Argosy Property Trust, formerly ING Property, rose 1.4% to 74 cents.

Bloomberg News reported that buyout firm Blackstone Group LP had made a bid for Australian shopping-mall owner Centro Properties Group, which manages A$18.6 billion of malls.

Warehouse Group, the biggest retailer on the NZX 50, fell 1.1% to $3.53. Retailers have been mixed since eftpos company Paymark reported post-Christmas shopping was tepid.

Fast-food operator Restaurant Brands NZ Ltd., the second-best performer on the index in 2010, fell 1.1% to $2.62. NZX Ltd., the second-worst performer this year, fell 1.3% to $1.53.


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