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MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares gain on A2, Synlait, Comvita bounce

MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares gain on A2, Synlait, Comvita bounce; Metro Glass falls

By Sophie Boot

Nov. 2 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand shares followed A2 Milk's recovery upwards today, with Synlait Milk and Comvita also bouncing while Metro Performance Glass continued its downward trajectory.

The S&P/NZX50 Index gained 29.25 points, or 0.4 percent, to 8,083.06. Within the index, 24 stocks rose, 18 fell and eight were unchanged. Turnover was $211 million.

A2 Milk led the index higher, up 6.1 percent to $8.42. The stock fell as low as $7.45 yesterday, and ended the session down 8.4 percent.

"It's bouncing back up again, and that's certainly underpinning the market", said James Smalley, senior advisor at Hamilton Hindin Greene. The bulk of the dual-listed stock gets traded in Australia, which has a lot more momentum-based trading "which does tend to mean that the moment momentum turns, it exacerbates movements in both directions", Smalley said. "If it was solely listed in New Zealand, you might not see that kind of volatility."

A2's supplier Synlait, which dropped 6.2 percent yesterday, rose 3.9 percent to $8, and Comvita gained 1.9 percent to $8.15, having yesterday fallen 6 percent.

The downside continued for Metro Glass, which fell 3.2 percent to 91 cents, a record low. Today it announced that its North Island general manager Dean Brown will be leaving the company with effect from Dec. 7 to pursue other opportunities.

"The negative momentum in that stock is pretty savage for investors," Smalley said. "It is relatively thinly traded, so if you get a couple of fund managers trying to sell at the same time it can have a serious effect on the share price."

Skycity Entertainment Group fell 2.3 percent to $3.87 and Fisher & Paykel Healthcare Corp dropped 1.9 percent to $13.05.

Outside the benchmark index, Pushpay Holdings had a second strong day, up 4.9 percent to $3.23, having gained 6.6 percent yesterday. The company today said it would hold an investor briefing on Nov. 16 to discuss its first-half results. It's up 120 percent this year, with gains having accelerated since the beginning of September.

"It was quite weak there at one stage, any investor that got into it three months ago will be very happy," Smalley said.

New Zealand King Salmon Investments shares rose 4.9 percent to a record $2.38 after the fish farmer raised its 2018 earnings guidance, saying it expects to lift volumes while maintaining prices and improving production. The shares were sold in the initial public offering in September 2016 at $1.12 apiece, and have gained 78 percent this year.

Tilt Renewables rose 1 percent to $1.96. The wind and solar generation facilities company, which split from Trustpower last year, posted a first-half loss of A$2.6 million after weak wind generation on both sides of the Tasman sapped electricity production.

Revenue dropped 15 percent to A$75.5 million as electricity generation shrank 16 percent to 869-gigawatt hours, reflecting lower production than usual in the current period contrasted with unusually high generation in the year-earlier period.

Briscoe Group dipped 0.3 percent to $3.27. It said its third-quarter sales were higher on the year after a rebound in October and managing director Rod Duke said the strong jobs market and improving rural incomes bode well for the final quarter of the year.


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