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MARKET CLOSE: NZ stocks rise, led by MetroGlass; SkyCity, A2 Milk fall

Friday 28th April 2017

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New Zealand shares ended higher as positive economic data cheered investors and bargain hunters turned to stock like Metro Performance Glass although SkyCity Entertainment Group fell after posting weaker third-quarter sales and A2 Milk lost ground as investors took profits.



The S&P/NZX 50 Index gained 24 points, or 0.3 percent, to 7,378.58. Within the index, 26 stocks gained, 14 fell and 10 were unchanged. Turnover was $197 million.



Forsyth Barr broker David Price said the market has been "relatively quiet," given each of the past three weeks has been shortened by holidays. 



The New Zealand bourse continues to garner investor interest on the back of solid economic data. Earlier Friday, Stats NZ reported that merchandise exports rose to their highest monthly level in two years in March as the value of dairy exports to China jumped by two-thirds while the ANZ Business Outlook survey showed business confidence stayed upbeat in April as firms expect to see more activity on their own books and generate bigger profits. Other figures showed seasonally adjusted dwelling consents fell 1.8 percent to 2,651 in March after rising a revised 17 percent in February. 



MetroGlass led the index higher, adding 3 percent to $1.38.  Price said the stock has been hit by a "fairly bad savaging of late" with a few large parcels going through.  "Now that stock has cleared, it's had a little bounce," he said.  



Fletcher Building added 0.8 percent to $8.55.  Investors may also have been cheered by news the government is planning to up its infrastructure spend. 



The index was also helped by a 2.1 percent gain in Auckland International Airport to $6.90, as investors remain upbeat about strong tourism and migration numbers. Xero continued to garner some interest, adding 2.8 percent to $21.75. Exporter Fisher & Paykel Healthcare added 2.1 percent to $10.07, helped a decline in the New Zealand dollar.  



In the other direction, A2 Milk shed 4.3 percent to $3.38 on some profit-taking. "They had a strong upgrade the other day and they are just giving a little of that back," said Price. 



SkyCity lost 2.9 percent to $4.36 after the company posted a 4 percent decline in third-quarter sales as its Australian businesses in Darwin and Adelaide continued to struggle while its flagship Auckland casino dealt with flat gaming revenue and the loss of its Air New Zealand Koru catering contract. 



Metilifecare added 0.2 percent to $5.81 after the company said it has has bought a 2.4 hectare site in Auckland's Botany suburb which it plans to spend $140 million developing into a 160-unit retirement village.  



Looking ahead, Price said investors will be watching for upcomings earnings reports although he noted that only a small sample is reporting. 





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