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MARKET CLOSE: NZX 50 holds near record high; Fletcher up

MARKET CLOSE: NZX 50 holds near record high as MRP priced; Fletcher, Trade Me up

May 9 (BusinessDesk) – New Zealand’s benchmark NZX 50 Index was little changed near a record high as investors await the debut of MightyRiverPower and signs of a strengthening economy lifted stocks ranging from Fletcher Building to Trade me.

The NZX 50 slipped 0.9 points, or 0.02 percent, to 4639.33, having reached a record yesterday. Within the index, 22 stocks rose, 20 fell and eight were unchanged. Turnover was $161 million.

Local institutional investors say there’s room for MightyRiverPower to rise on its debut as offshore investors scaled back in the initial public offering seek to top up on a stock offering a cash yield above 5 percent.

Shares were helped by economic figures showing employment is growing in New Zealand while the dole queue is shrinking.

The employment data “fits with everything else we have been looking at in the economy,” said Craig Ebert, senior economist at the Bank of New Zealand. The economy “is progressing at a reasonable rate.”

Construction and building products group Fletcher, the largest company on the index, rose 0.5 percent to $8.47. Trade Me, the popular auction site, rose 1.2 percent to $5.06.

Pumpkin Patch, the children’s clothing chain, rose 2.7 percent to $1.15, leading gains among retailers. Kathmandu, which sells outdoor equipment and clothing, gained 1.4 percent to $2.92.

Heartland New Zealand, the most recent addition to the ranks of lenders, gained 2.6 percent to 79 cents. Infratil, which has a controlling stake in TrustPower, rose 1.7 percent to $2.45. TrustPower dipped 2.6 percent to $7.45 and Contact Energy was down 0.2 percent to $5.60.

NZX, which stands to benefit from the potential pipeline of state asset sales, rose 1.5 percent to $1.35. The government plans to give more detail of further assets sales in next week’s budget.

Metlifecare fell 4.1 percent to $3.48, leading declines among retirement village operators, which had soared this year. Summerset Group, which this week said it would list its stock on the ASX as well as the NZX, fell 2.9 percent to $3.06. Ryman Healthcare dropped 2.1 percent to $6.20.

Guinness Peat Group fell 3.6 percent to 54 cents and tapmaker Methven rose 2.5 percent to $1.23.

Rakon climbed 4.4 percent to 24 cents while Sky Network Television declined 1.1 percent to $5.56.

(BusinessDesk)

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