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MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares rise in light trading, led by F&P Healthcare, Kathmandu

Monday 29th January 2018

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New Zealand shares gained, led higher by Fisher & Paykel Healthcare Corp and Kathmandu Holdings in quiet trading due to the Auckland Anniversary Day.

The S&P/NZX50 Index gained 16.17 points, or 0.2 percent, to 8,237.59. Within the index, 21 stocks rose, 20 fell and nine were unchanged. Turnover was $72.5 million.

"The market has been reasonably quiet, with most of Auckland being at the beach, we're not seeing quite as much volume," said Grant Davies, investment advisor at Hamilton Hindin Greene.

F&P Healthcare led the index higher, up 2.7 percent to $13.25. Kathmandu gained 2.5 percent to $2.44 and Australia & New Zealand Banking Group rose 1.8 percent to $31.55.

Trustpower rose 0.5 percent to $5.60. The stock lost 6 percent over Thursday and Friday after cornerstone shareholder Tauranga Energy Consumer Trust proposed it ditch customer rebates in five years in favour of funding community projects. TECT only pays the dividend of $400 to $500 a year to Trustpower customers in Tauranga, allowing it to dominate the local market. 

Chief executive Vince Hawksworth said last week the company was seeking legal advice on the trust's intention to change its focus.

"It seems like they're going head to head with the Trust in Tauranga," Davies said. "It's going to be interesting to see how it all plays out, a few analysts are changing their target prices for them. Credit Suisse is at $4.86, Macquarie is at $6.78, and the stock price is about the middle. They're bouncing back a bit but the volume is pretty low, they're probably just finding a level as much as anything else."

Auckland International Airport was the worst performer, down 2.2 percent to $6.56, with Trade Me Group dropping 1.5 percent to $7.60. 

Synlait Milk fell 1.8 percent to $6.97. The NZX-listed milk processor said it expects to achieve its forecast milk price payout to farmers so long as commodity prices continue to firm for the remainder of the season.

The dairy company reaffirmed its forecast milk price of $6.50 per kilogram of milk solids for the 2017/18 season which runs from June 1 to May 31. However, the company signalled in a statement to the NZX that this forecast is dependent on commodity prices continuing to firm for the rest of the season. Its forecast compares with Fonterra Cooperative Group's expectation of $6.40/kgMS for the current season.

(BusinessDesk)

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