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MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares rally on Trump's optimism

MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares rally on Trump's optimism for China deal

By Paul McBeth

Oct. 30 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand shares rose for a third day as investors were buoyed by US President Donald Trump's comments that a "great deal" with China may be forthcoming. NZX led gains.

The S&P/NZX 50 index advanced 32.84 points, or 0.4 percent, to 8,648.38. Within the index, 21 stocks gained, 18 fell, and 11 were unchanged. Turnover was $110.8 million.

New Zealand's market posted a late gain as investors latched onto Trump's comments that he sees a "great deal" with China, but that Asia's biggest economy isn't ready yet. Tensions between the world's two biggest economies have raised concerns about the pace of global growth, and contributed to heightened volatility across international markets.

Shane Solly, a portfolio manager at Harbour Asset Management, said investors have been sensitive to geopolitical risk. That, combined with the prospect of higher interest rates, has contributed to declines in equities.

"Donald Trump said he expected he can have a great deal with China, and that's triggered a little rally in Australia and New Zealand this afternoon," Solly said. "Liquidity is quite low and volumes are quite low, which is not unusual when people are a little bit wary."

NZX led the market higher, up 2.9 percent to $1.06 on modest volumes. The stock market operator unveiled a new pricing structure and listing rules. It , reported slightly softer third-quarter revenue yesterday which prompted First NZ Capital to lower its target price.

Air New Zealand advanced 2.3 percent to $2.72 and A2 Milk rose 2 percent to $10.17, both on lighter than usual volumes.

Spark New Zealand was the most traded stock, with 3 million shares changing hands. It gained 2.1 percent to $3.95 ahead of its annual meeting on Friday.

Z Energy extended its recovery from a two-year low, rising 1.2 percent to $6.01 on a volume of 2.7 million shares, three times its 90-day average. Fisher & Paykel Healthcare increased 0.6 percent to $13.45 on 1.6 million shares, twice the average volume.

Among other stocks with more than 1 million shares traded, Contact Energy was unchanged at $5.52, Sky Network Television fell 1.3 percent to $2.27 and Meridian Energy declined 1.3 percent to $3.11.

Of firms holding annual meetings tomorrow, Auckland International Airport rose 0.6 percent to $6.88, Methven fell 0.9 percent to $1.16, and Tourism Holdings was unchanged at $4.95.

Outside the benchmark index, PGG Wrightson was unchanged after shareholders approved the sale of its seeds business, while Cavalier Corp was also unchanged at 59 cents after its annual meeting.

Plexure Group jumped 29 percent, or 4.5 cents, to 20 cents after reporting a maiden interim profit.

Pyne Gould Corp dropped 9.3 percent, or 2.5 cents, to 24.5 cents on its biggest volume of trading in more than two years. Minority investors will tomorrow decide whether to quit the NZX for a listing in Guernsey.

Tilt Renewables increased 0.4 percent to $2.29. The wind farm developer and operator reports first-half earnings tomorrow. A joint takeover bid by Infratil and Mercury NZ at $2.30 a share was extended for another two weeks. They now own 83.6 percent.

Green Cross Health rose 3.1 percent to $1.32 after announcing the appointment of Carter Holt Harvey exec Rachael Newfield as its new group CEO from January.


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