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MARKET CLOSE: NZ stock index rises to record

MARKET CLOSE: NZ stock index rises to record; Fletcher Building, Sky TV rise while Scales, NZX drop

By Sophie Boot

July 6 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand's benchmark stock index rose to a record, with Fletcher Building and Sky Network Television gaining while Scales and NZX dropped.

The S&P/NZX 50 Index gained 21.19 points, or 0.2 percent, to an all-time high of 9,084.04. Within the index, 22 stocks rose, 18 fell and 10 were unchanged. Turnover was $108.4 million.

Trump's 25 percent tariffs on US$34 billion of Chinese goods were imposed from 4pm Friday New Zealand time. In a statement after that deadline passed, China's Commerce Ministry said the country was "forced to make a necessary counterattack" but gave no immediate details of its plans.

"Markets are anxiously awaiting the implementation of the US and then Chinese tariffs tonight, but the market is pretty flat on light volume as a few participants start to head off on holiday," said Shane Solly, director, portfolio manager & research analyst at Harbour Asset Management. "We do see a relatively strong global economy in the scheme of things, and the New Zealand economy is strong even though it's slowing - we need to be careful about getting too negative about the series of events that's out there."

"Our market has been globally strong, and we've seen a lot of capital come in, and we seem to have paused - there's nothing unusual or wrong about that," he said.

Fletcher rose 3.4 percent to $7.08. The embattled stock is down 6 percent this year but has recovered somewhat after sinking to a nine-year low in April. The shares have gained recently after chief executive Ross Taylor set out his five-year strategy to refocus on core businesses, stabilise the construction division, expand in Australia and exit non-core operations.

"It's still getting some good support from folk who are seeing a better backdrop for what the company's been doing," Solly said.

Sky TV rose 1.9 percent to $2.76, Ryman Healthcare gained 1.8 percent to $12.20, and Infratil rose 1.5 percent to $3.46.

Scales Corp was the worst performer, down 2.1 percent to $4.70. NZX fell 1.8 percent to $1.11 and Restaurant Brands New Zealand declined 1.3 percent to $7.73.


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