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MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares rise, Telecom, Fletcher gain

MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares rise, Telecom, Fletcher gain

By Hannah Lynch

Aug. 2 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand shares traded near a three month high, paced by the biggest company on the bourse, Telecom, and on hopes of better earnings from the country's largest construction company, Fletcher Building.

The NZX 50 index rose 33.46 points, or 0.9 percent, to 3564.11. Within the index, 34 stocks rose, six fell and 10 were unchanged. Turnover was $79 million.

Telecom, the telecommunications company, rose 1.7 percent to $2.70, while Fletcher gained 2.2 percent to $6.19.

"Telecom and Fletcher are two of the stocks attracting the most attention," said Mark Lister, head of private wealth research at Craigs Investment Partners. "Telecom continues to be popular with international investors and Fletcher is enjoying positive sentiment ahead of their results and on better Australian data."

Figures today showed retail sales growing in Australia at a faster-than-expected clip and figures this week have showed the housing market isn’t stumbling as much as feared.

Chorus, the telecommunications network operator spun out of Telecom last year, rose 1 percent to $3.11. The company today confirmed that about 57,000 customers are able to connect to its ultrafast broadband service.

Lister said higher dividend stocks "continue to be strong," with shares in Vital Healthcare Property Trust, the health clinic investor up 1.6 percent to $1.26, while Freightways, the courier and data management company, advanced 0.8 percent to $3.88.

NZX, the stock exchange regulator, led the gains, up 3.5 percent to $1.19.

The declines were led by, Telstra Corp, Australia's biggest phone company, down 1.90 percent to $5.15.

Kathmandu, the outdoor clothing retailer, fell 1.9 percent to $1.56. The stock has shed about 9 percent so far this year.

Goodman Fielder, the food ingredients manufacturer whose brands include Edmonds baking products and Vogel’s bread, declined 1.5 percent to 64 cents.

Turners & Growers fell 1.2 percent to $1.68 after the fresh produce company said its first-half net profit rose 2.2 percent to $7.1 million in the six months ended June 30. Further details of the results will be released to the NZX by Aug. 17, as “required by listing rule 10.4.”


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