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MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares snap 3-day slide; AIA up

MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares snap 3-day slide; NZS, Sanford, AIA gain

Nov. 25 (BusinessWire) – New Zealand shares snapped a three-day slide after an Australian central bank official predicted years of strong economic growth in the biggest market for NZ goods. NZ Farming Systems Uruguay, Auckland International Airport and fishing company Sanford Ltd. paced the gains.

The NZX 50 climbed 7.77, or 0.3%, to 3115.39. Within the index, 24 stocks fell, 20 rose and six were unchanged. Turnover was $77 million.

Ric Battellino, Reserve Bank of Australia deputy governor, told a business conference in Melbourne today that Australia’s economy has embarked on a “new upswing” helped by demand for the nation’s raw materials. The S&P/ASX 200 Index climbed 0.7% in Sydney.

Among New Zealand companies that get revenue across the Tasman, children’s clothing chain Pumpkin Patch climbed 1.1% to $1.83. Chief executive Maurice Prendergast told shareholders yesterday the retailer believes it is through the worst of the global recession, with signs of stability and improvement in its Australasian operations.

Fletcher Building rose 1.3% to $7.75 and food maker Goodman Fielder climbed 1% to $1.98.

NZ Farming Systems rose 2.3% to 44 cents on light volume, leading the index higher. Trading across the bourse was subdued ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday in the U.S. on Thursday.

Auckland International Airport, the nation’s busiest gateway, rose 2.2% to $1.87. The company yesterday reported a 2.4% rise in international passenger volumes for October, with visitors from Australia leading the increase amid lower airfares and a favourable exchange rate.

Contact Energy, the biggest utility on the NZX 50, rose 1.7% to $6.

Sanford Ltd. rose 1.1% to $4.80 after the biggest fishing company on the NZX posted a 27% decline in full-year profit, reflecting a year-earlier one-time gain from an asset sale and the impact of weakening revenue. EBITDA rose 3.8%.

“In the context of the weaker market prices for many species and the high value of the New Zealand dollar, particularly in the second six months, the overall result is considered satisfactory,” managing director Eric Barratt said.

Steel & Tube Holdings, which supplies steel building materials to the construction industry, fell 3.1% to $2.85, leading decliners on the NZX 50. Rubber goods and milking equipment maker Skellerup Holdings fell 2% to 49 cents.

ING Property Trust fell 1.3% to 75 cents a day after reporting a $5.6 million loss in the six months ended Sept. 30. The property investor has been selling assets to repay debt.

Sky Network Television, the nation’s biggest pay-TV company, fell 1.3% to $4.60 and Mainfreight Ltd., the biggest trucking company on the NZX, fell 1.8% to $5.50.


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