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MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares rise in global rally, led by Chorus

MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares rise in global rally, led by Chorus

By Suze Metherell

Feb. 7 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand shares rose today, as the local market caught up after yesterday’s holiday, joining on a global wave of positive sentiment. Chorus led gainers.

The NZX 50 index gained 32.845 points, or 0.7 percent, to 4840.788. Within the index 28 stocks rose, 12 fell and 10 were unchanged. Total turnover for the day was $101.1 million.

Across the Tasman sentiment was good with Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 gaining 0.6 percent in afternoon trading. Japan’s Nikkei 225 index was up 1.7 percent and Hong Kong’s Hang Send lifted 0.9 percent.

“Oz had a positive day yesterday, and we were closed so we’re playing a bit of catch up,” said Mark Lister, head of private wealth research at Craigs Investment Partners. “The reason we are only up half a percent is because we didn’t fall so far, there is less bounce back.”

Chorus climbed 8 percent to $1.49 after a research note by JP Morgan speculated the telecommunications network operator will seek to raise $300 million from investors at a discounted price. Separately, the Commerce Commission outlined its proposed process to determine final pricing for services on Chorus’s regulated copper network.

“There was something in that release that was positive to somebody,” Lister said.

A2 Corp, which markets milk products with a protein variant claimed to have health benefits, rose 4.4 percent to a record 95 cents. It’s gained 86 percent in the past 52 weeks.

“It’s been trending up steadily over last 12-months, it’s generally a stock that’s in favour with investors,” Lister said. “There have been institutional investors which gives the market confidence in the story.”

Units in Fonterra Shareholders’ Fund, which carries the rights to dividends from the dairy company’s earnings, were unchanged at $6.18. Synalit Milk, the milk processor which joined the NZX in July, slipped 0.3 percent to $3.74.

Australian lender Westpac Banking Corp gained 4.3 percent to $34, Xero advanced 3.3 percent to $40.01, Auckland International Airport rose 3.1 percent to $3.66, and Sky Network Television was up 0.4 percent to $5.77. New Zealand’s biggest listed company Fletcher Building lifted 0.2 percent to $9, as did Telecom Corp also up 0.2 to $2.35. Casino operator Skycity Entertainment group was unchanged at $3.72.

Online Auction site Trade Me Group dropped 4 percent to an 18-month low $3.80 amid reports the website is in a spat with real estate agents over lifting the price of its property listings.

“Trade Me is going to have to spend more money on advertising,” Lister said. “In the long-term, Trade Me property will re-establish, but in the short term there is concern around its property business that’s weighing on the share price.”

(BusinessDesk)

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