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MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares fall; Goodman, Refining leave index

MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares fall; Goodman Fielder, NZ Refining leave index

Dec. 21 (BusinessDesk) – New Zealand shares fell, snapping a three-day rally as further delays to fiscal cliff talks in the US weighed on equity markets across Asia. Goodman Fielder and NZ Refining dropped as they exited the NZX 50 Index.

The NZX 50 fell 20.71 points, or 0.5 percent, to 4054.74. Within the index, 24 stocks fell, 20 rose and six were unchanged. Turnover was $165 million.

Goodman Fielder, the Australian food manufacturer, dropped 3.8 percent to 76 cents and NZ refining, the nation’s only oil refinery, declined 2.8 percent to $2.43. The two companies are leaving the benchmark index after the latest quarterly re-weightings, effective at the market open on Monday.

They will be replaced by retirement village operators Summerset Group, which fell 0.5 percent to $2.22 today, and Metlifecare, up about 2 percent to $3.13.

“A lot of people are out of the market ahead of Christmas,” said Rickey Ward, equities manager at Tyndall Investment Management. “The index changes are the main event today.”

Shares were generally weaker across the Asia Pacific region and US index futures fell after House Republican leaders cancelled a vote that allow higher taxes, a concession to the White House in the fiscal cliff talks.

Fletcher Building, the biggest company on the NZX 50, fell 2.4 percent to $8.25 and Telecom dropped 2.6 percent to $2.26. Port of Tauranga, the busiest export port, fell 1.8 percent to $13.25.

Diligent Board Member Services was the biggest gainer, rising 3 percent to $5.46 extending its 160 percent gain this year to a new record.

Chorus, the network company spun off from Telecom last year, rose 2.8 percent to $2.92, clawing back some ground after slumping this month on the threat of price controls.

Allied Farmers rose 16 percent to 2.9 cents. Crown Asset Management, the entity set up to handle assets from failed finance companies backed by the government’s deposit guarantee, will take up what’s left of the decimated Hanover and United Finance property assets from Allied, the company said today.

Abano Healthcare rose 4.1 percent to $6.30. The specialist healthcare investor and operator met its guidance with a jump in first-half profit as it acquired more dental practices in Australia and New Zealand.

Net profit was $1.5 million in the six months ended Nov. 30, from $600,000 a year earlier, the Auckland-based company said in a statement. Sales rose to $107.9 million from $102 million.

(BusinessDesk)

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