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MARKET CLOSE: NZX 50 climbs above 4000; Fletcher gains

MARKET CLOSE: NZX 50 climbs above 4000; Fletcher, Chorus, Hallenstein gain

Nov. 23 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand shares rose, pushing the NZX 50 Index above 4000 for only the second time since January 2008. Fletcher Building, Chorus, Hallenstein Glasson Holdings and Property for Industry led the advance while Precinct Properties fell.

The NZX 50 rose 11.12 points, or 0.3 percent, to 4008.33, bringing its gain this year to 21 percent. Within the index, 20 stocks rose, 19 fell and 11 were unchanged. Turnover was $97 million.

New Zealand’s benchmark index has gained twice as much as the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index so far this year helped by a global hunger for yield as interest rates stay low. The NZX 50 has a cash yield of about 5.5 percent and analysts are forecasting earnings per share growth of between 3 percent and 5 percent. By contrast a one-year term deposit offers about 4.28 percent.

“It reflects the appetite around the world for income,” said Rickey Ward, equities manager at Tyndall Investment Management. “New Zealand has high income generating capital markets.” After its recent gains, the local market is now “fair value,” he said.

Fletcher, the biggest company on the exchange, rose 1.9 percent to $7.99, having earlier gained above $8. The shares have advanced since the company told shareholders at the annual meeting this week that operating earnings will grow by as much as 22 percent in 2013 financial year as new home construction accelerates.

“They must be feeling reasonably comfortable” about the outlook to give that guidance, Ward said.

Property for Industry, which invests in industrial properties, rose 2.5 percent to $1.25. Yesterday, the company said it has entered into unconditional contracts to acquire three industrial properties with a total purchase price of $37.8 million at an average purchase yield of 8.7 percent.

Hallenstein, the clothing chain, gained 2.1 percent to $5.36, leading gains among retailers. Pumpkin Patch, the children’s clothing chain, rose 1.7 percent to $5.36.

Warehouse Group, the biggest retailer on the bourse, rose 1.3 percent to $3.19 after reiterating its forecast for this year’s earnings to beat those in 2012 amid signs of growth in consumer spending.

Chorus, the network company spun off from Telecom last year, rose 1.5 percent to $3.30.

Among the tech stocks, Xero extended its gains, rising 1.4 percent to $6.44, while Diligent Board Member Services ran out of puff, falling 0.8 percent to $4.70.The two stocks have soared 130 percent and 138 percent respectively this year.

Precinct Properties dropped 2.5 percent to 99 cents after the company formerly known as AMP NZ Office said its newly acquired Bowen Campus site near Wellington’s Beehive and Parliament has missed on a contract to supply as much as 60,000 square metres of office space for government departments.


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