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MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares rise to new record

MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares rise to new record as blue chips including Xero, Ryman gain

By Sophie Boot

Aug. 2 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand shares rose to a new record, led by blue chip stocks including Xero and Ryman Healthcare, while Metro Performance Glass dropped.

The S&P/NZX50 Index gained 18.87 points, or 0.24 percent, to 7,748.31, a new record close. Within the index, 28 stocks rose, 14 fell and eight were unchanged. Turnover was $195 million.

The local bourse continued to follow international markets higher as better than expected earnings on Wall Street and the prospect of low interest rates for even longer continue to drive the attraction of equities. The Dow Jones Industrial Average broke new ground in the US overnight.

"We're stronger today in line with firmer offshore markets, though Australia is bucking that trend a wee bit," said Grant Williamson, director at Hamilton Hindin Greene. "The blue chip stocks are mostly firmer and that has had a positive effect on the index." Fisher & Paykel Healthcare rose 0.9 percent to $11.24, while Spark New Zealand gained 0.3 percent to $3.87.

Xero led the index higher, rising 3.2 percent to $27.65, the highest since June 2014 and its seventh consecutive positive trading session. It's up 53 percent this year after multiple upbeat results have kept intact market expectations it will achieve its maiden profit in 2019.

"It has been in a pretty strong up trend for some time now, one or two brokers have upgraded their price targets," Williamson said. "It has created some good strength for the buy side."

Investors are waiting for company earnings to start next week, and Williamson said without much news it looked like many were happy to hold until then.

Ryman Healthcare gained 2.1 percent to $9.07, while Summerset Group Holdings rose 1.9 percent to $4.94 and CBL Corp gained 1.7 percent to $3.69.

Metro Performance Glass was the worst performer, down 3.3 percent to $1.45, while Vista Group International fell 1.7 percent to $5.90 and Sky Network Television dropped 0.9 percent to $3.35.

(BusinessDesk)

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