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MARKET CLOSE January rally takes NZX50 to highest since 2007

MARKET CLOSE January rally takes NZX50 to highest since Oct 2007

Jan 30 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand shares rallied again as a "whiff of recovery" emerges about the forthcoming earnings season, amid an accumulation of more promising news about the world economy.

The NZX50 Index shot to 4,247.546, its highest since late October 2007, before the global financial crisis and just as New Zealand began heading into a domestic recession which preceded the global events.

That was a gain on the day for the leading stocks index of 47.25 points, or 1.12 percent, on turnover of a respectable $134.40 milllion. Within the index, 33 stocks rose,10 fell, and seven were unchanged.

"We have seen a very sharp rally in a very short period of time," said Shane Solly, at Mint Asset Management. "That tends to be what happens when people move asset classes so you get sharp reactions.

"We're certainly catching the whiff of a recovery story out there," Solly said.

Mint had forecast earlier this month there was "more juice" in the NZX tank, despite a 25 percent rise in the NZX50 last year. However, Solly was surprised by how quickly it's happened over January, ahead of the corporate earnings season that kicks off in earnest the week after next.

The impact of dividends and changes to the make-up of the NZX50 distorts long term trends, but the index is still watched as a bellwether.

Leading the index higher today was infrastructure investor Infratil, up 4.15 percent to $2.51, its strongest performance this month, followed by childrens clothes maker Pumpkin Patch, up 3.79 percent to $1.37, and Freightways, up 2.69 percent at $4.58.

Retirement home operators Metlifecare and Ryman Healthcare were the next biggest risers, up 2.53 percent to $3.24 and 2.4 percent to $4.69 respectively.
After announcing a return to two dividend payments a year and strong prospects in Tunisia and New Zealand, NZ Oil & Gas was up 2.30 percent to 89 cents.

Oceana Gold was the biggest loser, down 3.38 percent to $3.25, while Fonterra Shareholder Fund units closed at$7.05, down 0.28 percent, after falling as low as $7.01 during the day after a difficult week fending off fears about the discovery of minute traces of a nitrification inhibitor in milk powder.


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