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MARKET CLOSE: NZ stocks rise, pushing NZX 50 above 3,000

Friday 9th July 2010

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New Zealand stocks rose for their seventh consecutive day, breaking above 3,000 for the first time since June 28, with Telecom advancing after agreeing to a lighter-than-expected penalty payment over its controversial wholesale loyalty offer.

The NZX 50 rose 21.3 points, or 0.7%, to 3,005.2. Within the index, 34 stocks rose, seven fell and nine were unchanged. Turnover was $62.9 million.

Telecom (NZX: TEL ) shares rose 2.7% to $1.87 on news of the settlement which arose over three loyalty offers from its wholesale unit, which were deemed likely to breach its operational separation undertaking. Each breach could potentially have incurred a fine of $10 million.

“The news definitely helped (Telecom) stock,” said David Price of Forsyth Barr. “The price was also helped by the fact that is has been heavily sold recently, and when you look around the market given how people have taken risk off the table, stocks like Telecom will increasingly become of interest as things get shaky.”

Pacing gainers on the day, Goodman Fielder (NZX: GFF ) rose 4.3% to $1.69, New Zealand Refining (NZX: NZR ) rose 3.3% to $3.10 and wealth manager AMP (NZX: AMP ), rose 3% to $6.59.

Sky Network Television (NZX: SKT ) rose 1.7% to $4.72 after the company announced that it had acquired outside broadcast operator OnSite Broadcasting from Prime Media Group of Australia for $13.5 million.

Michael Hill (NZX: MHI ) rose 2.9% to 70 cents as government figures showed consumers are still increasing their spending on debit and credit cards.

Statistics New Zealand announced that local spending on debit and credit cards at retailers rose for a fifth month in June as looming tax cuts and the GST hike gave consumers more incentive to open their wallets in the second quarter.  

The card data comes after consumer confidence surveys showed people were more upbeat about their own financial position in the three months ended June 30, and may spur them into buying mode after the recession encouraged people to lay off new purchases and pay down debt.

Pyne Gould (NZX: PGC ) rose 2.6% to 40 cents, and New Zealand Oil & Gas (NZX: NZO ) rose 2.4% to $1.27.

Shares in L&M Energy (NZX: LME ) were unchanged after the coal and gas development company said yesterday that its OM-4 well in Southland contains coals that are fully saturated with gas, amounting to as much as 11 cubic metres of gas per tonne of coal.

Goodman Property Trust (NZX: GPT ) paced decliners with shares falling 1.1% to 90 cents. Restaurant Brands (NZX: RBD ) fell 0.9% to $2.33, and Fisher & Paykel Healthcare (NZX: FPH ) fell 0.6% to $3.09.

State-owned power company Genesis Energy announced that it is expected to dramatically improved earnings over the next three years, driven partly by higher prices for oil and gas from the Kupe field and refusing to run its ageing Huntly power station at a loss.

Shares in listed-competitor Contact Energy (NZX: CEN ) fell 0.5% to $5.83.

Shares in Auckland International Airport (NZX: AIA ) fell 0.5% to $1.92, falling one cent after the company announced yesterday that it had bought a 25% stake in Queenstown Airport for $27.2 million in a cash purchase.

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