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MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares join global rally, paced by Fletcher

MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares join global rally, paced by Telecom, Fletcher

Aug. 6 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand stocks joined a region-wide rally after better-than-expected employment data in the US eased investors' concerns that global growth is slowing. The advance was paced by the biggest stocks on the bourse, Telecom and Fletcher Building.

The NZX 50 index rose 15.20 points, or 0.4 percent, to 3563.20. Within the index, 26 stocks rose, nine fell and 15 were unchanged. Turnover was $75.9 million.

"The New Zealand market was always going to be up today because of the stock markets in the US and Europe - they reacted strongly to the payrolls data," Mark Lister, head of private wealth research at Craigs Investment Partners. "It's not a surprise that our market is not performing as well as offshore but if they had a weak night tonight we would be more resilient - we are a safer market."

Fletcher Building, New Zealand's largest construction company, rose 1.6 percent to a one-month high of $6.27, while Telecom, the largest company on the exchange advanced 1.1 percent to $2.71, its highest close since August 2008.

The biggest gainer was PGG Wrightson, the nation’s largest rural services company, which rose 3.2 percent to 32 cents. Outdoor clothing and equipment chain Kathmandu rose 2.6 percent to $1.60.

Guinness Peat Group, the investment company in the process of selling down its portfolio, rose 2 percent to 50 cents. Cavalier, the carpet and wool scouring group, rose 2.5 percent to $1.64.

Fisher and Paykel Healthcare led decliners, down 2.6 percent to $1.89. The stock has shed about 23 percent this year. It has seesawed alongside the New Zealand dollar which touched a fresh three-month high, eroding the value of the more-than 50 percent of sales it makes in US dollars.

"They are underperforming the most, which is currency related," Lister said. "They have had a bit of a ride this year."

Shares in Vital Healthcare Property Trust fell 1.6 percent to $1.24. The Auckland-based company announced the value of its portfolio fell about $6.2 million, or 1.1 percent, in the year ended June 30, led by a drop in the value of its Mercy Ascot Hospital.

Ryman Healthcare, which invests in retirement villages, fell 1.4 percent to $3.57.

Property for Industry ended the day unchanged at $1.155. The company today reported a 4.9 percent drop in first-half earnings to $7.6 million from $8 million a year earlier after shrinking its portfolio. It also warned the annual dividend will be smaller than a year ago.

Sanford was unchanged at $3.85 after the US government withdrew one of the claims in its US Federal District Court case against the fishing company, which is accused of illegal discharges and obstruction of justice related to a vessel operating out of American Samoa.

DNA diagnostic test business Pacific Edge rose 5.3 percent to 20 cents. The Dunedin-based company has received independent clinical confirmation that its bladder cancer detection test is at least as effective as other methods. The validation in the American Journal of Urology could be worth up to $100 million a year in five years’ time for its Cxbladder test.

(BusinessDesk)

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