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Market close: shares extend rally on US stimulus view

New Zealand stocks move off a three-month low earlier in the week as stock markets worldwide recover.

Wed, 11 Jul 2018

New Zealand shares extended their rally from a three-month low earlier in the week as stock markets worldwide recovered on the prospect of slower US growth tempering optimism for higher interest rates. OceanaGold led gainers.

The NZX 50 Index rose 23.355 points, or 0.532 percent, to 4,416.961. Within the index, 30 stocks rose, 13 fell and seven were unchanged. Turnover was $148.9 million.

The local bourse followed stocks higher across Asia, with Australia's S&P/ASX 200 index up 1.8 percent in afternoon trading, Hong Kong's Hang Seng ahead 1.6 percent and Japan's Nikkei 225 index rising 2.3 percent.

Slower growth in the US caused investors to weigh up whether the Federal Reserve will start unwinding its $US85 billion monthly bond purchases this year.

"Economic data out of the US reminded people the central bank won't completely step away just like that," says Mark Lister, head of private wealth research at Craigs Investment Partners. "We've seen Asian markets bounce today, though New Zealand is not as strong as some other Asian markets."

OceanaGold, which operates the Macraes mine, rose 4.5 percent to $1.40, having sunk to the lowest level since October 2009 yesterday.

Spot gold rose from its lowest levels since 2010 after weaker-than-expected US economic data stoked demand for the precious metal.

Telecom, among stocks that draw offshore interest because of their liquidity and dividend yield, rose 1.8 percent to $2.32. Xero, the cloud-based accounting company, resumed its advance, gaining 3.6 percent to $15.95, though volume was only 58,772 shares.

"Heading into the end of this quarter, you find the market is basically flat. We've come off reasonably unscathed, with Australia down 4 or 5 percent in the three month period," Mr Lister says.

A2 Corp rose 3.2 percent to 64 cents after the government announced a review of the infant formula rules after lobbying by some of the biggest marketers. A2 has a contract with Canterbury processor Synlait Milk to make infant formula for Asian markets.

Hallenstein Glasson Holdings, the clothing chain, rose 2.5 percent to $4.92, leading recovery in retailers pushed lower this week. Michael Hill International, the jewellery retailer, rose 1.6 percent to $1.30. Restaurant Brands New Zealand rose 0.7 percent to $2.76 ahead of its annual meeting in Wellington tomorrow.

Manufacturers gained. Nuplex Industries rose 2.1 percent to $2.94 and Skellerup Holdings was up 0.8 percent to $1.31.

Smiths City, the Christchurch-based retailer, rose 10 percent to 6 cents after announcing it had boosted annual profit by more than a fifth as a strong rural sector underpinned gains in the South Island.

Fletcher Building increased 0.5 percent to $8.45 after announcing that head of its distribution division, John Beveridge, had resigned after four years in the job.

Chorus fell 0.9 percent to $2.28. The network operator spun out of Telecom will have to stump up $6.4 million for its share of the annual levy to fund commercially non-viable telecommunications services after raising concerns about its ability to recoup the cost.


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Market close: shares extend rally on US stimulus view