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MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares up 1% to new record, A2 and Fletcher gain

Thursday 7th June 2018

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New Zealand shares surged to a fresh record, led by A2 Milk Co and Fletcher Building amid international demand for Kiwi companies.

The S&P/NZX 50 Index rose 86.07 points, or 1 percent, to 8,899.52. Within the index, 25 stocks rose, 15 fell and 10 were unchanged. Turnover was $190 million.

"It's another very strong day on the market, with good demand particularly from foreign buying - once the Australian market opens about midday, it picks up," said Grant Williamson, director at Hamilton Hindin Greene. "Amongst the leading stocks there's very good demand, for medium and smaller-caps there doesn't seem to be a lot of interest at the moment but a lot of blue-chip stocks are coming in for very good buying."

"The first three months of the year, the index was down a touch, but since April to the start of June it's risen almost 6.5 percent. It's a very nice turnaround in the local market," Williamson said. "There's good demand for growth stocks too, like A2 and retirement village stocks - not a lot of volume for retirement stocks, but certainly a lot of demand."

A2 Milk was the best performer, up 4.4 percent to $11.38, while Fletcher Building gained 2.2 percent to $6.84 and Auckland International Airport rose 1.5 percent to $6.87.

Summerset Group led the retirement stocks, rising 1.4 percent to $7.48, with Ryman Healthcare gaining 11 cents, or 0.9 percent, to $12.05. Ryman also gave up a 10.9 cent final dividend today.

Investore Property was the worst performer, down 2.6 percent to $1.51, with Kathmandu Holdings dropping 5 cents or 2.1 percent to $2.23 as it shed rights to a 4 cent interim dividend. 

Kiwi Property Group dipped 1.1 percent to $1.36. It reiterated its dividend guidance at its annual general meeting and said its current projects are on track.  The company said its annual dividend payment for the year to March 31, 2019, will be 6.95 cents per share, up from 6.85 cents in the year to March 2018. 

Chief executive Chris Gudgeon announced he would be leaving in September after 10 years with the company and chairman Mark Ford said today that "the board should be in a position to announce Chris’s successor in the very near future."

(BusinessDesk)

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