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MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares mixed in light trading

MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares mixed in light trading; A2, Tegel gain while Mercury falls

By Sophie Boot

June 11 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand shares were mixed in subdued trading with the Australian stock exchange closed for their Queen's Birthday public holiday, with local gains led by A2 Milk Co.

The S&P/NZX50 Index advanced 21.36 points, or 0.2 percent, to 8,959.81. Within the index, 27 stocks fell, 16 rose and seven were unchanged. Turnover was $65.5 million.

"There's not a lot happening out there, with Australia closed it has been a little more quiet than one would usually expect, tomorrow will probably be more eventful," said Mark Lister, head of private wealth research at Craigs Investment Partners, "We're flat, which is unsurprising - there were some mixed leads from offshore, overseas markets were up on Friday night but then you had the G7 meeting and there are still question marks over trade tensions. More importantly, we had such a strong week last week - our best week since July 2016 - so on the back of that, it's not surprising to be performing a little more modestly today."

Lister said market watchers would be paying close attention to tomorrow's meeting between US President Donald Trump and North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore tomorrow, and meetings of the US Federal Reserve and European Central Bank later in the week.

"We'll probably see interest rates rise in the US, and in Europe they will in all likelihood give some clues about when they'll pare back their stimulus. People probably are holding fire a bit ahead of those various events."

A2 Milk Co led the index, up 3 percent to $11.85.

"It was the top performer last week, up about 10 percent, so it's continuing to recover some of the ground it lost last month," Lister said.

Auckland International Airport rose 1.8 percent to $6.79, Freightways gained 1.2 percent to $8.30, and NZX advanced 0.9 percent to $1.14.

Mercury New Zealand was the worst performer, down 2.2 percent to $3.32, while New Zealand Refining Co dropped 1.9 percent to $2.53 and Metlifecare declined 1.8 percent to $6.17.

Outside the benchmark index, Tegel Group Holdings rose 0.8 percent to $1.20. The poultry group posted a 24 percent drop in annual profit and recommended shareholders accept a $437.8 million takeover offer from Philippines poultry company Bounty Fresh Foods.

"It wasn't a great result but it was secondary to the target company statement. When there's a takeover happening it overwhelms what's happening on the earnings front," Lister said.

(BusinessDesk)

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