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Market Close: NZX 50 rises on rate cut, Sky Network gains

Thursday 4th December 2008

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New Zealand stocks rose, nudging the NZX 50 Index up for a second day, after the central bank cut its benchmark rate by a record amount and Sky Network Television announced a content agreement with Vodafone.

The NZX 50 rose 23.894, or 0.9%, to 2730.680 as at the 5 p.m. close of trading in Wellington. Within the index 22 stocks rose, 15 fell and 11 were unchanged. Reserve Bank Governor Alan Bollard slashed the OCR to 5%, meeting most economists’ expectations and winning plaudits from industry groups.

“Given New Zealand’s situation is not as bad as some other nations, his measured approach is responsible,” said Alan Moore, who helps oversee NZ$250 million at Milford Asset Management. “The expectations are for economic growth to start to pick up next year” though the OCR may fall further before rising in 12 months time.

Wall Street ended yesterday with a late rally. The Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 both climbed more than 2%. Today, Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index gave up its gains in late afternoon trading after a day that saw big jumps in stocks. Babcock & Brown soared 72% to 42.5 Australian cents after securing a A$150 million loan from its banks, buying more time to try to avoid collapse.

Billabong International tumbled 18% to A$8.20 after cutting its earnings forecast on a deterioration in U.S. trading. In Japan, the Nikkei 225 Index was down about 1.1% in midday trading, paced by a slide in Sanyo Electric.

Nippon Oil and Nippon Mining jumped after announcing a merger that would cut costs.

The NZX 50 has picked up after falling below 2600 points on Nov. 21 and Nov. 22. Sky rose 4.6% to NZ$3.45 today, reducing its slide the past month to about 18%. Sky buys equipment and content in U.S. dollars and prefers a strong kiwi. Today the company said Vodafone will bundle Sky content, mobile and fixed line voice and internet services for its subscribers. The contract is for five years.

Contact Energy gained 4.6% to NZ$6.90. The stock has dropped 10% in the past month though it has climbed off its low of NZ$6.28 reached Nov. 24. That’s the day after Contact’s board meeting where directors were criticized for seeking to award themselves a pay rise.

PGG Wrightson fell 5.2% to NZ$1.45 after announcing a venture with Tasman Velvet Processors to set up a new marketing company for the deer product.

Fletcher Building, New Zealand’s biggest construction company, fell 0.4% to NZ$5.55. The stock is down 5% in the last month, about matching the NZX 50’s decline. Real estate firm Barfoot & Thompson said Auckland property sales fell 38% last month from a year earlier.

Rakon fell 5.5% to NZ$1.37 and Fisher & Paykel Healthcare dropped 3.2% to NZ$3.01.


NZX Top 50
Last updated: 4/12/2008 5:08pm

AIA 1.72 +0.01
AIR 0.86 0.00
AMP 6.60 +0.20
ANZ 17.50 +0.15
APN 3.15 0.00
APT 1.02 +0.02
CAV 2.01 0.00
CEN 6.99 +0.39
EBO 4.26 0.00
FBU 5.55 -0.02
FPA 1.43 +0.01
FPH 3.00 -0.06
FRE 2.93 +0.02
GFF 1.60 0.00
GMT 1.07 +0.01
GPG 1.04 +0.03
HLG 2.30 +0.07
IFT 1.76 0.00
IMP 1.08 -0.01
ING 0.66 -0.01
KIP 1.05 +0.02
LNN 10.50 +0.15
MFT 4.75 +0.03
MHI 0.59 -0.01
MVN 1.35 +0.05
NPX 3.50 -0.12
NZO 1.28 0.00
NZR 6.15 -0.05
NZS 0.87 -0.03
NZX 5.50 -0.10
PFI 1.08 +0.02
PGW 1.45 -0.08
POT 5.95 -0.05
PPL 1.03 -0.02
PRC 0.97 0.00
RAK 1.40 -0.05
RYM 1.50 +0.01
SAN 5.40 +0.10
SKC 3.00 +0.02
SKL 0.75 +0.01
SKT 3.45 +0.15
STU 2.85 0.00
TEL 2.39 -0.04
THL 0.70 -0.01
TLS 5.15 0.00
TPW 7.30 +0.10
TWR 1.54 0.00
VCT 2.02 +0.01
WBC 20.68 +0.68
WHS 3.30 +0.01

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