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MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares mixed, market steady; Tower, Westpac, ANZ gain, Fisher & Paykel drops

Friday 15th July 2016

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New Zealand shares were mixed as investors did not follow offshore rallies, with Tower, Westpac Banking Corp and Metro Performance Glass gaining as Fisher & Paykel Healthcare dropped. 

The S&P/NZX50 Index dipped 7.44 points, or 0.1 percent, to 7,072.89. Within the index, 24 stocks rose, 21 fell and six were unchanged. Turnover was $202.5 million.

"Investors are a little bit hesitant - I think they are waiting for next month's financial reporting season to kick off," said Grant Williamson, director at Hamilton Hindin Greene. "The market's relatively steady today, it hasn't really followed those offshore markets higher - even Australia's looking quite good but we haven't followed at all."

Tower was the biggest gainer, up 2.7 percent to $1.35.

"There's been some institutional crossing going on - haven't seen substantial security notices yet, but I'd imagine there's been selling and buying amongst the institutions," Williamson said. "Obviously that share price is at a pretty low level, it's been one of the disappointing stocks on the market in the past few years." 

Dual-listed banks were strong today, with Westpac Banking Corp gaining 2.6 percent to $32.17 and Australia & New Zealand Banking Group up 2 percent to $26.65. 

"The sector has been under pressure for quite some time now but we have seen a pretty reasonable turnaround - those stocks have really rebounded pretty significantly, there's certainly renewed interest in the Australian banks but also probably a lot of bargain hunting going on," Williamson said.

Building stocks were stronger today, having had an uptick this week, which Williamson said was due to the government and opposition talking about residential building and the market predicting a boom for the construction sector.

Metro Performance Glass rose 1.7 percent to $1.84, Fletcher Building advanced 0.8 percent to $9.07, and Steel & Tube gained 0.5 percent to $1.95. 

Trustpower advanced 1.3 percent to $8. 

"That's been quietly moving upwards for a while now - it could very well be ahead of its possible demerger of their Australian wind assets, so investors might be doing a little bit of buying in that stock ahead of that company splitting into two," Williamson said. 

Fisher & Paykel Healthcare fell furthest, down 1.8 percent to $10.08. Tegel Group declined 1.2 percent to $1.63 and Goodman Property Trust shed 1.1 percent to $1.305.

Spark New Zealand dropped 1.4 percent to $3.65. The company's biggest telecommunications provider will sell land it had been using for car parking in Auckland for $26.5 million.

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