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Market Close: Stocks mixed, Goodman Fielder gains

Tuesday 30th December 2008

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New Zealand stocks were mixed, with 25 gainers and 17 declining companies on the NZX 50 Index, which rose just 0.02% in its third daily gain.

Australian food company Goodman Fielder led rising stocks, up 6.8% to NZ$1.58 while its ASX-listed equivalent was little changed at A$1.295, from A$1.30 yesterday. The NZX 50 gained 0.58 to 2678.22. Eight shares were unchanged today.

There was little corporate activity on the NZX, with about 10.5 million shares changing hands. New Zealand Oil & Gas rose 1.6% to NZ$1.24 as the price of crude oil advanced a third day amid tensions over the Gaza Strip. statement.

Crude oil was at US$40.30 a barrel in Singapore, according to Bloomberg data. Helping buoy equities has been the U.S. government offer of US$6 billion in support for GMAC and reports that Japan is considering spending US$110 billion buying bad loans.

In Sydney, the S&P/ASX 200 Index rose 0.9% to 3654.2 in late afternoon trading. Lynas Corp. jumped 22% to 28 cents and Babcock & Brown rose 21% to 9.4 cents. In Japan, the Nikkei 225 Index was up 1.3% to 8859.56 in afternoon trading.

In Wellington, Ryman Healthcare fell 4.1% to NZ$1.41, paring its advance in the past month to less than 1%. Pumpkin Patch fell 3.9% to NZ$1 and Sky Network Television declined 2.9% to NZ$3.74. Freightways led the biggest gainers among local companies, rising 6% to NZ$3.17.

Air New Zealand gained 3.5% to 89 cents after the airline said it didn't plan to follow Virgin Blue in reducing fares even as the price of jet fuel abates. PGW Wrightson, the nation's biggest rural services company, rose 2.5% to NZ$1.22 after Fonterra reiterated that it may have to reduce milk payments to farmers.

A2 Corp., which seeks to profit from the potential health benefits of a type of milk with a protein variant, fell 4% to 11.5 cents on the NZAX market.

AFFCO Holdings, the North Island-based meat processor, fell 2.6% to 37 cents. The meat exporter's stock fell as the kiwi dollar held at almost 58 U.S. cents.


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