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MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares rise amid global rebound; GPG, FBU gain

Thursday 13th May 2010

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New Zealand shares rose, pushing the NZX 50 Index higher for only the second day in seven, amid global market gyrations on Europe’s ability to support its member states’ debt.  Guinness Peat Group climbed after being punished for taking too long with a return to shareholders.

The NZX 50 Index climbed 39.72, or 1.3%, to 3195.80, only the second increase in seven straight sessions. Within the index, 36 stocks rose, just four fell and 10 were unchanged. Turnover of $130 million was swelled by trading in Fletcher Building stock, which jumped 3.1% to $8.08.

GPG gained 3.7% to 85 cents, having tumbled since Friday‘s AGM in London, when the investment group failed to announce some sort of return to shareholders.

Fletcher Building advanced 3.1% to $8.08, having slipped to a three-month low below $8.

“Some of that bounce is the market looking a bit better,” said James Lindsay, who helps manage $450 million at Tyndall Investment Management. Fletcher “had come off to under $8 and that was probably too much done on the sell side.

NZ Farming Systems Uruguay climbed 7.9% to 41 cents, having skittled around in the past week as holdings of the failed Rural Portfolio Investments came on the market.

Lindsay said shares are trading around valuation and “we’re needing earnings to drive stock prices further forward.”

“People are in transition, not really sure economies are going to come back and support that growth,” he said.

Shares advanced across Asia today, having gained overnight in the US and Europe. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index was up 2.2% and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 rose 1.5%, helped by government figures showing jobs growth accelerated last month.

AMP, the Australian pension plan provider, rose 2.9% to $7.56, after chief executive Craig Dunn said his company is in talks with AXA SA about making a new bid for the French company’s stake in AXA Asia Pacific.

Goodman Fielder, the Australasian food products and bakery company, rose 1.7% to $1.81. The company said at an analyst briefing today that it is targeting earnings-per-share growth of about 7%, longer term, as it focuses on its so-called power brands. It counts Vogel’s bread among its wide offering.

Telstra slipped 0.8% to $3.73, one of only four decliners with Cavalier Corp. down 3.8% to $2.55, New Zealand Refining falling 2% to $3.48 and Warehouse Group down 0.3% to $3.64.

Tyndall’s Lindsay said Telstra is facing similar issues in Australia to Telecom Corp. here, with potential loss of network reach. “Both have been under a lot of pressure” from regulators.

Over on the Unlisted platform, which isn’t registered as an exchange, shares of Irongate Property tumbled 51% to 4.4 cents as unitholders in a related fund sought to dump the manager who also oversees Irongate. A National Property Trust investor group has called for a meeting to remove its manager, which is part of the St Laurence group. The management contracts were excluded from St Laurence’s receivership. NAP was unchanged at 48 cents.

Westpac Banking Corp. rose 3.5% to $31.75 and Pyne Gould Corp. rose 2.2% to 47 cents.

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