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MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares rise, led by Metro Glass, Heartland

MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares rise, led by Metro Glass, Heartland; A2, Synlait extend slide

By Sophie Boot

Dec. 11 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand shares rose, led by Metro Performance Glass and Heartland Bank, while dairy-related companies A2 Milk Co and Synlait Milk continued to weaken.

The S&P/NZX 50 Index gained 42.42 points, or 0.5 percent, to 8,277.51. Within the index, 30 stocks rose, 16 fell and four were unchanged. Turnover was $118 million.

"We had pretty good leads from offshore markets," said Mark Lister, head of private wealth research at Craigs Investment Partners. "Sentiment is still very buoyant and we're in the time of year that is traditionally quite strong."

Metro Glass led the index, up 5.6 percent to 95 cents. The stock has dropped 53 percent this year after multiple earnings disappointments.

"I don't think there's anything fundamental in that, the stock is so beaten up it's probably attracting a few value hunters," Lister said.

Heartland rose 3.5 percent to $2.07 and Auckland International Airport gained 2.8 percent to $6.71.

A2 Milk Co was the worst performer, off 2.1 percent to $7.78, with Synlait Milk down 2 percent to $6.70.

"I don't think there's much in that, it's really just profit-taking on the back of a strong run. They've been coming off the boil for the last few weeks," Lister said.

Xero dropped 1.9 percent to $30.30. In November, the cloud-based accounting software firm announced it will delist from the local stock market in favour of an ASX listing to broaden its pool of investors and analysts.

"It has come off quite a bit in the last month or so, basically ever since they announced they were leaving," Lister said. "They're off a good 12 percent from where they were back in early November. It's further positioning from the local investors, more technical selling than anything fundamental to do with the company."

Kathmandu Holdings fell 0.9 percent to $2.34.

"There's not a huge demand for cold weather gear at the moment, they're probably a victim of the weather that we're all enjoying," Lister said. "You do get the feeling that the retail sector is poised for a fairly decent Christmas, but obviously it depends on where you are and Kathmandu - winter is more their scene."

Vital Healthcare Property Trust was flat at $2.19. It has bought Eden Rehabilitation Hospital in Cooroy in Queensland, Australia, for A$23.8 million as part of its ongoing diversification strategy.

Outside the benchmark index, Pyne Gould Corp gained 2.1 percent to 24 cents. It has reached a confidential deal with Australia's Wilaci over late payment fees, which it says will be smaller than the 20.5 million British pound cost of its Supreme Court-ordered payout.

New Zealand Refining dipped 0.7 percent to 70.5 cents. It says yesterday's outage on the refinery-to-Auckland pipeline was caused by a "false alarm" and that it's back up and running. The pipeline was shut down temporarily yesterday over fears of a leak, which were later discovered to be unfounded, the Whangarei-based company said in a statement.

Augusta Capital was unchanged at $1.04. It has unconditionally purchased a Wellington industrial property as a seed asset for a new industrial fund that is expected to initially raise between $50 million and $70 million of equity when it launches early next year.


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