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MARKET CLOSE: Stocks climb led by Pacific Edge on gong; Ryman, Summerset gain

New Zealand stocks rose led by Pacific Edge after the biotech firm was named NZBIO's top bioscience company. Ryman Healthcare Group paced gains on plans for a new Auckland village.

The NZX 50 Index rose 23.704 points, or 0.5 percent, to 5232.911. Within the index, 27 stocks rose, 12 fell and 11 were unchanged. Turnover was $176.3 million.

Pacific Edge advanced 3.7 percent to $1.12. The Dunedin-based biotech company was recognised by the national industry group for the development of cxbladder, its non-invasive bladder cancer test which is now used throughout New Zealand and the US. The stock was caught in last month's global tech-sell off, dropping 15 percent in the past month.

"It's good news for their share price to give people a bit more of a positive perspective on the company," said Michael Milne, investment adviser with Craigs Investment Partners. "It certainly has been under a bit of pressure, and people have been keeping an eye on it but have been a wee bit timid to jump back in until now."

Ryman rose 1.6 percent to $8.89. The retirement village operator announced it had secured a 150-year lease with Ngati Whatua Orakei to develop a new development on Auckland's North Shore.

Rival retirement village developer and operator Summerset Group rose 0.9 percent to $3.50, while Metlifecare gained 0.7 percent to $4.14.

"Ryman is starting to look quite expensive, it has had a good run up so people are looking for other exposures to the sector and that is lending a bit of support to Metlife and Summerset as well," Milne said.

Xero, the cloud-based computing software developer, gained 2.4 percent to $31.95. Air New Zealand, the national carrier, rose 1.9 percent to $2.13. Auckland International Airport, New Zealand's busiest gateway, climbed 1.2 percent to $4.07 and Fletcher Building, the largest listed company on the NZX, advanced 0.2 percent to $9.77.

Telecom slipped 1.8 percent to $2.685.

OceanaGold was the day's worst performer, down 4.4 percent to $2.80. Diligent Board Member Services, the governance app developer, fell 3.9 percent to $4.43, while Chorus, the telecommunications network operator, declined 1.7 percent to $1.71.

Contact Energy climbed 1.8 percent to $5.80. MightyRiverPower was unchanged at $2.335 as was Meridian Energy at $1.225. Outside the benchmark index, Genesis Energy, the last of the government's energy companies to be partially privatised, fell 0.8 percent to $1.86.

Vital Healthcare Property Trust rose 1.1 percent to $1.365. Precinct Properties New Zealand climbed 1.5 percent to $1.045. Property For Industry advanced 0.8 percent to $1.30.

Briscoe Group gained 4.2 percent to $2.48 after the retailer reported a 5.7 percent gain in first-quarter profit, and said it expected annual earnings growth as it widened its margins.

(BusinessDesk)