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MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares gain; NPX, TEL, Rakon lead

MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares gain; NPX, TEL, Rakon lead

Nov. 6 (BusinessWire) – New Zealand shares rose. Telecom Corp. gained after posting a 9.4% gain in net profit and raising its 2010 guidance. Advancing shares outnumbered decliners almost two to one.

The NZX 50 rose 15.65, or 0.5%, to 3160.16, having shimmied up and down for four days. Within the index, 26 stocks rose, 15 fell and nine were unchanged. Turnover was $68.9 million.

Telecom rose 1.6% to $2.52. Earnings at the nation’s biggest phone company were boosted by a one-time tax gain. The phone company is trying to re-engage on the government’s broadband roll-out while contending with regulatory changes over its operational separation undertakings and charges on mobile phone calls to rival networks.

“Telecom’s got too many balls that they’re trying to keep up in the air,” said Alan Moore, who helps manage the equivalent of $350 million worth of assets for Milford Asset Management. “There’s a lot of regulation that’s driving the main focus away from why the company exists.”

Nuplex Industries rose 5.8% to $2.54. The specialty chemicals maker today raised its full-year earnings forecast on resilient sales in Asia and lower raw material costs.

“We have enjoyed a strong start to the current financial year,” managing director John Hirst told shareholders at their annual meeting today. “As markets recover and consumers gain confidence, all of the company’s products will find upwards pressure on demand – it is merely a question of time.”

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Rakon Ltd., which makes crystal oscillators used in navigation systems and mobile phones, rose 2.6% to $1.19. Fisher & Paykel Appliances climbed 3.1% to 67 cents.

Kiwi Income Property Trust fell 2.9% to $1.02, the biggest decline on the benchmark index. The property investor, which owns Auckland’s Sylvia Park shopping centre, posted a 3.9% increase in first-half distributable earnings as the global recession continues to loom over the property sector.

Xero Ltd., the online accounting software provider whose shareholders include MYOB founder Craig Winkler and cashed-up TradeMe founder Sam Morgan, rose 0.6% to $1.66. The company today posted a first-half loss on costs to upgrade and expand its systems and bolster its sales teams in the U.K. and Australia.

Rakon Ltd. rose 2.6% to $1.19. Skellerup Holdings fell 1.9% to 53 cents. Pike River Coal fell 2.7% to $1.07.

The NZX 50 climbed about 19% from early July, peaking at 3253 on Oct. 20 and drifting back since then.
“We’re going higher but I’m not 100% convinced we’ve seen the end of this pull-back we’re seeing at the moment,” said Ben Potter, research analyst at IG Markets in Melbourne.

Westpac Banking Corp. rose 2.5% to $33.50, Steel & Tube Holdings gained 2.3% to $3.15 and Sky Network Television rose 1.7% to $4.88.


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