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MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares fall, led by Goodman Fielder, TEL

MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares fall, led by Goodman Fielder, Telecom

By Hannah Lynch

Aug. 16 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand shares fell, led by Goodman Fielder after the company scotched media reports of a takeover offer and telecommunications company, Telecom declined from its highest level since August 2008.

The NZX 50 Index fell 14.98 points, or 0.4 percent, to 3616.19. Within the index, 20 stocks fell, 19 rose and 11 were unchanged. Turnover was about $138.8 million, above the daily average this year.

The decline was led by Goodman Fielder down 4.1 percent to 70 cents. The food ingredients manufacturer whose brands include Edmonds baking products and Vogel’s bread denied reports it has received an offer from the world’s largest palm oil processor, Wilmar International. Goodman posted a narrower annual loss this week.

"It is surprising that a little whisper can create a share price movement," said Rickey Ward, domestic equities manager at Tyndall Investment Management. "Anybody can speculate but that company has gone through some tough times."

Telecom, the largest company on the NZX 50, fell 2.8 percent to $2.75. The stock has gained 32 percent so far this year and currently has a dividend yield of 10.9 percent.

"People have been chasing yields for 18 months or so," Ward said. "Telecom falls into that camp - yesterday there was some aggressive buying."

Fletcher Building, New Zealand's largest construction company, shed 0.9 percent to $6.47.

Trade Me fell 0.5 percent to $3.85. Ellerston Capital, a fund manager controlled by Australian billionaire James Packer’s family interests, has emerged as a substantial holder of shares in New Zealand online auction site, with a 5.18 percent stake.

The gains were led by Pumpkin Patch climbing 13 percent to $1.03. The children's clothing chain full-year profit before one-time items was about $10.1 million for the year ended July 31, beating estimates as bank debt and inventory levels fell and online sales rose. The shares have soared 42 percent so far this year.

"It has tidied itself up a little bit - but it is a big move for one day," Ward said.

AMP rose 5.6 percent to $5.65. The Australia-based insurer lifted its first-half net profit by 10 percent to A$383 million in the six months ended June 30, benefiting from its merger with AXA Asia Pacific.

SkyCity Entertainment Group, the Auckland-based casino and hotel operate, rose 2.8 percent $3.68 after lifting its annual profit by 8 percent to $141 million, meeting guidance, on Wednesday.

Cavalier, New Zealand's only listed carpet maker, rose 3 percent to $1.70.

Shares in Sanford fell 0.5 percent to $3.89. Managing director Eric Barratt said the Auckland-based fishing company won’t decide whether to appeal a guilty verdict in a US court of dumping oil waste in waters around American Samoa and falsifying records until after sentencing in November.

Turners Auctions’ rose 4.2 percent to $1.73 after the vehicle auctioneers first-half net profit jumped 19 percent $1.94 million as it recovered from earthquake-related disruption in Christchurch last year.


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