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MARKET CLOSE: NZ stocks rise as investors hunt yields; AMP leads gainers, Steel & Tube falls

Thursday 15th September 2011

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New Zealand stocks rose, as investors, hunting for higher yielding shares, helped sustain the early momentum from global equity markets as Greek default fears eased. AMP led gainers and Steel & Tube Holdings fell.

The NZX 50 Index rose 9.2 points, or 0.3%, to 3,273.31. Within the index, 24 stocks rose, 20 fell, and six were unchanged. Turnover was $97.8 million. The kiwi dropped to 81.28 U.S. cents at 5pm from 82.03 cents at 8am, and down from 82 cents yesterday.

Share markets across the Asia Pacific region for the most part rose in afternoon trade, riding a thin wave of positivity after German and French policymakers reiterated their commitment to keeping Greece in the European monetary union, easing fears of a disorderly default by the heavily indebted country.

"We seem to be swinging between negativity and hope on Europe at the moment," said Greg Easton, an adviser with Craigs Investment Partners. "We're seeing a lot of demand for shares, with clients looking for quality and sustainable yields at the moment."

AMP, the wealth manager which this year acquired the Australian and New Zealand assets of Axa Asia Pacific Holdings, rose 3.5% to $5, leading gainers on the exchange.

Tower, the general insurer controlled by Guinness Peat Group, rose 2.2% to $1.42. The stock has a gross dividend yield of 10.3%.

Nuplex Industries, the industrial chemicals and resins maker, rose 2.1% to $2.94.

Kiwi Income Property Trust, the country's biggest real estate investment vehicle, rose 1.9% to $1.05.

Fisher & Paykel Healthcare Corp., the manufacturer of breathing masks and respirators, rose 1.9% to $2.17 on signs the New Zealand dollar was starting to give up ground against the greenback. The company earns about 50% of its revenue in U.S. dollar terms.

Goodman Fielder, the Australian food ingredient manufacturer, rose 1.3% to 77 cents, recovering some of the ground it lost yesterday amid market concerns about its debt funding.

Steel & Tube, the construction materials supplier, fell 3.2% to $2.42, leading decliners on the exchange. The stock is rated as 'outperform' according to the consensus poll of five analysts compiled by Reuters, with a median target price of $2.76.

Rakon, the manufacturer of crystal timing components used in electronics, fell 2.8% to 69 cents.

PGG Wrightson, the rural services company which sold its finance unit to Heartland New Zealand, fell 2.3% to 43 cents, leading decliners on the exchange.

Cavalier Corp., the listed carpet maker, fell 0.6% to $3.18 after Wool Equities emerged as a rival bidder for the 64% stake of NZ Wool Services International held by the receivers Plum Duff and Woolpak Holdings.

WSI shares were unchanged at 52 cents.

Bathurst Resources, the coal miner, was unchanged at $1.12 after it posted a wider full-year loss as it acquired reserves and pursued resource consents and infrastructure for its Buller Coal Project on the West Coast.

The net loss was A$13.5 million in the year ended June 30, from a loss of A$8.4 million a year earlier, the Perth-based company said in a statement.

Mercer Group, the unprofitable stainless steel fabricator, was unchanged at 7.5 cents after it gained a waiver from Westpac Banking Corp. for a breach of a banking covenant and announced a $1.3 million 'shareholder funding facility' with second-ranking security over its assets.


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