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MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares gain as US recession ends

MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares gain as US recession ends; FPA, Sky City rise

Oct. 30 (BusinessWire) – New Zealand shares rose, led by Fisher & Paykel Appliances and New Zealand Refining, joining a global rally after figures showed the U.S. emerged from recession, bolstering demand for equities and commodities.

The NZX 50 Index gained 19.99, or 0.6%, to 3215.61. Within the index, 36 stocks rose, six fell and nine were unchanged. Turnover was $175 million, making it the biggest day this year, though traders said there was an element of double counting on trading in Australian companies on the NZX.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 jumped 2.3% in New York yesterday after figures showed the world’s largest economy resumed its expansion in the third quarter after the worst downturn in 70 years. In Asia today, Japan’s Nikkei 225 rose 1.2%, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng climbed 3% and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 rose 1.5% as stronger earnings from companies including Samsung Electronics and Bank of China.

F&P Appliances, which today announced an impairment charge of up to $75 million against its North American assets, rose 4.8% to 66 cents, leading gainers on the NZX 50. The appliance maker will benefit from any pick-up in U.S. consumer demand.

Sky City Entertainment Group, the nation’s biggest casino company, rose 2.1% to $3.47 after announcing a 4.7% gain in first-quarter revenue on growth Australia and a slightly improved performance at its Auckland complex, putting it on track for ‘double-digit’ earnings growth in 2010.

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NZX Ltd., the stock market operator, rose 0.8% to $7.95, bringing its advance this year to 61%. Operating revenue climbed to $12.5 million from $8.1 million a year earlier, including the jump in the contribution from its Agri-business and energy divisions, reflecting acquisitions.

“NZX is showing the value of diversification,” said Stephen Wright, private client adviser at ASB Securities. “They’re quite optimistic, looking at the future.”

Pyne Gould Corp. rose 2.3% to 44 cents after the finance company announced plans to replace four directors, including chairman Sam Maling. Separately today, its Perpetual Asset management unit said it completed the acquisition of Marac’s impaired loans. Pyne plans to have “distinct and separate” boards for its perpetual and Marac units.

New Zealand Oil & Gas rose 1.8% to $1.72, leading gains in oil related stocks after the price of crude climbed above US$80 a barrel.

Crude oil for December delivery gained 14 cents to US$80.01 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange in Asia today, amid optimism a recovery in U.S. economic growth will spur demand for fuel.

Pan Pacific Petroleum rose 3.8% to 55 cents. New Zealand Refining, the nation’s only oil refiner, gained 4.1% to $5.33.

TrustPower Ltd., the utility controlled by Infratil Ltd., rose 0.3% to $7.57 after announcing a 6% gain in first-half underlying earnings to $72.5 million. The company also said it is considering a bond offer over the next few weeks.

Charlie’s Group Ltd., the juice company, jumped 5.5% to 7.7 cents after announcing the sale of a West Auckland property for $2.5 million, or $1.2 million over book value. The funds are being used to repay debt.


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