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MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares rise after bumpy week

MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares rise after bumpy week, led by NZ Refining, Synlait while Port of Tauranga, A2 drop

By Sophie Boot

June 22 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand shares rose, led by New Zealand Refining Company and Synlait Milk while Port of Tauranga and A2 Milk Co fell.

The S&P/NZX 50 Index gained 0.59 of a point, or 0.01 percent, to 8,999.37. Within the index, 28 stocks rose, 17 fell and five were unchanged. Turnover was $156.7 million.

"There was a bit of weakness offshore last night but that hasn't had any effect on our market today," said Grant Williamson, investment advisor at Hamilton Hindin Greene.

The local benchmark index has had a turbulent week, dropping 1.2 percent in heavy trading on Tuesday but recovering since. The NZX50 ends the week down 0.1 percent from the record 9,008.58 it hit last Friday.

"[Tuesday] was one of the market's biggest moves in months, but follow that the market has regained all of that lost ground - it's been a bit of a week of going nowhere," Williamson said. "We're really still in a news vacuum, and the market is still looking pretty slick even though a number of commentators are saying it looks overvalued, we haven't had any considerable correction. The difference between dividend yields and interest rates is one reason for that."

NZ Refining rose 2.4 percent to $2.56. Today, it gave an update on its refinery shutdown, saying all of the critical maintenance and replacement work on the refinery shutdown has been completed, but there has been a delay with the restart of the hydrocracker unit as a result of two minor leaks.

"Our team is reassessing the schedule and we expect to advise the market once a date for the restart of the hydrocracker unit has been confirmed," it said in a statement.

Synlait Milk rose 2.4 percent to $11.27.

Australia and New Zealand Banking Group gained 2.2 percent to $30.71. Failed children's clothing retailer Pumpkin Patch is unlikely to be able to pay back nearly $20 million it owes to ANZ while unsecured creditors will get zilch, according to the latest report by the company's receivers KordaMentha.

ANZ was owed $59.5 million when Pumpkin Patch was tipped into receivership in October 2016 and as of April 25 this year had been paid a total of $29.4 million, according to the latest six-monthly report from receivers Brendon Gibson and Neale Jackson of KordaMentha.

Scales Corp advanced 2.1 percent to $4.77, while Sky Network Television gained 2.1 percent to $2.47.

Port of Tauranga was the worst performer, down 2.1 percent to $5.05. A2 Milk Co dropped 1.7 percent to $11.95, Pushpay Holdings declined 1.2 percent to $4.22, and NZX fell 0.9 percent to $1.13.

Fletcher Building dipped 0.9 percent to $6.82. Outgoing chair Ralph Norris announced the board's audit and risk committee chair Bruce Hassall will succeed him when he steps down from the troubled building company in September.

Outside the benchmark index, Michael Hill International dropped 3.1 percent to 93.5 cents. It plans to close the remaining six stores of its Emma & Roe chain as well as the sub-brand’s online business at a total cost of no more than $3.1 million, a move allowing the Brisbane-based jewellery maker and retailer to focus on its core namesake brand.

Steel & Tube Holdings fell 2.6 percent to $1.51. It has agreed to a $21.1 million sale-and-leaseback deal of its Blenheim Road property in Christchurch, a key distribution hub for the company, as part of its restructuring efforts to raise working capital and pay down debt.

(BusinessDesk)

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