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NZX CLOSE: NZX 50 sinks to new 5-month low; Pike, PGW fall

Tuesday 9th February 2010

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New Zealand shares fell for the 16th time in 18 sessions, pushing the NZX 50, as the prospect of further capital raising by Pike River Coal drove the miner down to a nine-month low.

The NZX 50 fell 17, or 0.6%, to 3076.451, a five-month low. Within the index, 23 stocks fell, 17 rose and 10 were unchanged. Turnover was $57.3 million.

“Global share markets have been overdue for a correction so we don’t read too much into the recent fall,” said Jason Wong, head of investment strategy at AMP Capital Investors. The nation’s biggest fund manager said at its quarterly briefing today that stocks may yet outperform other asset classes this year, without repeating 2009’s strong returns.

Pike River (NZX: PRC ) fell 3.3% to 88 cents. Investors are awaiting word from the mining company on how it will raise more capital to continue developing its mine to full production after announcing further delays.

PGG Wrightson (NZX: PGW ), the nation’s biggest rural services company, fell 3.3% to 59 cents. New Zealand Refining, the only oil refinery, fell 3% to $3.55 after yesterday releasing a statement showing its processing margins fell to a six-year low last year.

Tower (NZX: TWR ) climbed 1.6% to $1.94. Managing director Rob Flannagan told shareholders at their annual meeting that changes in regulations for the insurance and financial services industries will be advantageous for the company’s risk insurance and wealth management business. It has achieved good growth in its health and life, general insurance and investments, with customer satisfaction and services levels remaining high, he said.

Pyne Gould Corp (NZX: PGC ) rose 2.3% to 44 cents, clawing back some of the decline of yesterday, when the finance group said its Marac unit had turned up irregularities relating to a business loan and will take a $2.5 million provision against its first-half results. PGC is still confident of meeting its full-year earnings target.

Fisher & Paykel Appliances (NZX: FPA ), which benefits from a weaker currency because of its export sales, climbed 1.7% to 61 cents as the kiwi dollar traded at y68.54 U.S. cents, near a five-month low.

AMP NZ Office Trust (NZX: APT ) rose 2.7% to 76 cents, leading a rally in property investors after Prime Minister John Key said tax reforms won’t include a land or capital gains tax.

Goodman Property Trust (NZX: GMT ) rose 2% to $1.02, Kiwi Income Property Trust (NZX: KIP ) rose 2% to $1.04 and Property for Industry (NZX: PFI ) climbed 1.8% to $1.14.

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