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MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares rise; Briscoe up on earnings

MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares rise; Briscoe up on earnings, Pyne Gould falls

Sept. 9 (BusinessDesk) – New Zealand shares rose as investors weighed conflicting corporate and economic reports at the end of a week in which appetite for risk improved. Briscoe Group gained after posting higher earnings and Pyne Gould Corp. fell.

The NZX 50 Index rose 15.884 points, or 0.5% to 3,323.932. Within the index, 21 stocks rose, 14 fell and 15 were unchanged. Turnover was a lower-than-average $77.6 million.

Asian markets advanced after President Barack Obama proposed a $447 billion U.S. dollar plan to spur economic growth, and after China's inflation rate eased last month. As the Rugby World Cup tournament got under way there were mixed reports from retailers and tourism operators, while Statistics New Zealand said total spending on electronic cards fell 0.5% to a seasonally adjusted $5.3 billion in August.

“The World Cup is on and there is not a client to be spoken to,” said David Price, a broker at Forsyth Barr.

Briscoe Group Ltd., the home-wares and sports goods retailer, rose 2.2% to $1.39 after posting an 11% gain in first-half profit and growing its market share in a tough retail environment. It managed to raise its dividend.

Pyne Gould Corp., which put off filing its financial statements because of the Christchurch earthquakes, fell 3.1% to 31 cents after saying it faces an annual net loss of $141.1 million, comprising $114.2 million of charges and a trading loss of $26.9 million.

Telecom Corp., the nation's largest phone company, rose 1.6% to $2.51.5 on day it disclosed Telecom chief executive Paul Reynolds was paid $5.2 million and after the Commerce Commission released a draft decision that causes small price reductions in its unbundled copper local loop service.

L&M Energy Ltd., the coal seam gas project developer, fell 4% to 11.9 cents after reporting a $3 million loss in the six months to June 30, arguing missing milestones was not unusual in the kind of projects it was involved in.

Port of Tauranga Ltd., the operator of an inland port in South Auckland, was unchanged at $9.65 after a study found inland freight hubs boost rail use and result in significant fuel savings and benefits for the environment.

Fletcher Building Ltd. Rose 1.6% to $7.85 after Statistics New Zealand reported yesterday that building activity has plummeted to its lowest level in 10 years in the June 2011 quarter.

Fisher & Paykel Healthcare rose 1.4% to $2.17 as investors wait to see if industrial action signalled at the company's Highbrook plant in South Auckland goes ahead.

Rakon, a manufacturer of crystal oscillators, rose 1.4 % to 75 after telling shareholders at its annual meeting that it was well positioned even though it was not currently producing substantial bottom line profits or share price growth. The company's share price fell last week when it signalled a fall in earnings because of the high New Zealand dollar.

(BusinessDesk)

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