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New Zealand shares were mixed today. PGG Wrightson rose to the highest in more than a month after the sale of Fonterra units underlined the appeal of the rural sector, while Kiwi Income Property Trust fell after shedding its dividend.
The NZX 50 Index fell 2.41 points, or 0.1%, to 4009.60, holding above 4000 for a third session. Within the index, 20 stocks rose, 18 fell and 12 were unchanged. Turnover was $115 million, with just less than a fifth of that made up of trading in Fletcher Building shares.
Fletcher, the biggest company on the bourse, edged up 0.1% to $7.98, having reached $8.01 in intraday trading.
"We're not getting a lot of people taking profits," says Greg Easton, an adviser at Craigs Investment Partners. "There's still buying interest and still a hunt for yield."
Wrightson, the nation's largest rural services company, rose 2.9% to 36 cents, a level it hasn't reached since October 19.
Fonterra priced its units at $5.50 apiece, the top end of the range proposed in a bookbuild, with strong global demand ensuring 42% of the fund has been sold to overseas investors.
The units are entitled to the dividends on Fonterra's shares.
Among smaller stocks, Renaissance, the Apple retailer and design school operator, soared 14% to 16 cents after the company hired Grant Samuel & Associates for a strategic review, saying the current share price of the company is "substantially below the value of its component divisions", making the company vulnerable to a takeover.
Shareholders of New Talisman Gold Mines applied for only 52% of shares on offer under its renounceable rights issue, leaving the underwriter to make up the balance.
New Talisman, the gold mining company formerly known as Heritage Gold NZ, was unchanged at 1.1 cents after shareholders subscribed for only about half the shares in its rights offer. The capital raising was underwritten.
Contact Energy, the biggest power company on the NZX 50, rose 2.3% to $5.27. Steel & Tube Holdings, which sells steel building materials, gained 1.4% to $2.26.
Kiwi Income Property Trust dropped 2% to $1.15 after going ex-dividend, meaning investors are no longer entitled to its 3.3 cent interim dividend.
NZ Refining, which operates the nation's only oil refinery, fell 2.5% to $2.71. Telecom, the biggest phone company on the NZX 50, fell 0.9% to $2.33.
Fisher & Paykel Healthcare rose 1.2% to $2.53 and Guinness Peat Group declined 0.9% to 59 cents.