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MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares up on Oz growth, record Dow, Sky TV

MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares rise on Australian growth, record Dow, Sky TV

March 6 (BusinessDesk) – New Zealand shares rose, led by Air New Zealand and Kathmandu, after the Dow Jones Industrial Average hit a record high, better economic growth in Australia and as the local market digests New Corp’s Sky Network Television stake.

The NZX 50 Index rose 28.81 points, or 0.7 percent, to 4297.97. Within the index, 30 stocks rose, 16 fell and four were unchanged. Turnover was $215 million, with about 30 percent of that made up of Sky TV shares.

Sky TV rose 1 percent to $5.07 even after shedding its 12 cents interim dividend. News Corp sold its 44 percent stake to institutions at $4.80 a share in an underwritten sale and New Zealand stocks initially sold off on news of the sale as investors freed up funds to buy the pay-TV company.

“The market is bouncing back after a bit of a sell-off to fund the Sky TV placement,” said Grant Williamson, a director at Hamilton Hindin Greene. “It has been a very successful placement.”

Shares gained after the Dow Jones rose to a record close of 14253.77 in New York. They also got a lift from a rally in Australian stocks to a 4 ½-year high as figures showed Australia’s economy grew 0.6 percent in the fourth quarter, beating estimates.

That’s had a flow-over to our market today,” Williamson said.

Air New Zealand, the national airline, gained 3.6 percent to $1.45. Outdoor equipment retailer Kathmandu climbed 3.4 percent to $2.47 and clothing chain Hallenstein Glasson Holdings rose 2.6 percent to $5.60.

Among stocks going ex-dividend today, Contact Energy fell 1.9 percent to $5.25 after shedding its 11 cent interim payment. NZX rose 1.6 percent to $1.29, ex its 1.25 cent final dividend and having reported that the value of cash trading jumped 58% in February from a year earlier.

Fletcher Building rose 0.1 percent to $9.18 after government figures showed building work grew for a fifth quarter in the final three months of 2012.

Port of Tauranga fell 0.5 percent to $13.61 after shedding its interim dividend of 20 cents.

PGG Wrightson, the nation’s biggest rural services company, rose 2.6 percent to 40 cents after the price of milk powder surged in the latest GlobalDairyTrade auction.

Cloud-based accounting firm Xero rose 1.8 percent to $8.14 and Infratil rose 1.7 percent to $2.40.


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