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MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares gain; Metro Glass, Tower, Trade Me rise

Monday 18th July 2016

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New Zealand shares rose, led by Metro Performance Glass, Tower and Trade Me Group, with little corporate news to drive prices ahead of earnings season.

‚ÄčThe S&P/NZX50 Index rose 33.08 points, or 0.5 percent, to 7,105.96. Within the index, 27 stocks rose, 15 fell and nine were unchanged. Turnover was $139.5 million

The local bourse had a positive day despite school holidays and a lack of local news, said Craig Stent, a director at Harbour Asset Management. 

The consumer price index, which rose less than expected in the June quarter and saw the Kiwi dollar fall in response, was the key news of the day, Stent said. 

Movements in the kiwi "do affect the way some of the dual-listed securities are priced - because they're listed in Australia, it tends to be the driver of some of the share prices, particularly the larger caps, because it's cheaper for Australian investors as they get priced higher in New Zealand."

Metro Performance Glass led the index, up 2.7 percent to $1.89, a two-month high.

Tower rose 2.6 percent to $1.385. It hit a three-week low of $1.315 on Thursday but has rebounded. 

"There are a couple of large holders trying to sell that stock - Devon Funds Management filed down today, below 5 percent, so that's probably why they've been under a bit of pressure," Stent said. "Maybe they've stopped selling today and that's why they've bounced back up."

Trade Me gained 2.4 percent to $5.07, a price not seen since May 2013, while Spark New Zealand advanced 2.2 percent to $3.73. 

Steel & Tube Holdings gained 1 percent to $1.97. The Sunday-Star Times has reported China is trying to 'heavy' the New Zealand government over key exports such as dairy, wool and kiwifruit into dropping an inquiry into cut-price Chinese steel.

Vector was the worst performer, falling 1.5 percent to $3.36.

Argosy Property shed 1.3 percent to $1.145, and Warehouse Group dipped 1.1 percent to $2.78. 

Outside the main index, Smartpay shares jumped 41 percent to 22.5 cents, marking the biggest gain on the NZX's main board today. Some 15,500 shares changed hands, less than a tenth of the 119,300 average daily volume over the past year. The company is dual-listed, and the shares were unchanged at 18 Australian cents on the ASX.

"It's obviously a discount broker or someone not familiar with the dual-listing and has paid a terrible price here in New Zealand," said Grant Williamson, a director at Hamilton Hindin Greene in Christchurch. "There's no fundamental reason - sometimes in these illiquid stocks with quite a wide bid and ask price, a discount broker or inexperienced investor can pay over the odds."

SeaDragon gained 9.1 percent to 1.2 cents. The fish oil refiner has hired Nevin Amos as its new chief executive. Amos will take over from interim chief executive Richard Alderton in October. He is the chief executive at Pacific T&R and before that worked at Comvita, a cornerstone shareholder in SeaDragon, for nearly a decade. Alderton will remain on SeaDragon's board as a non-executive director.

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