Monday 24th November 2008
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New Zealand shares were mixed, with Pumpkin Patch surging after the children’s
clothing retailer said it will buy back 5% of its stock. Port of Lyttelton fell
after its majority owner scooped up most of the stock is was seeking.
The NZX 50 Index fell 2.62, or 0.1%, to 2575.48, its ninth decline in 10 trading sessions. Within the index 22 stocks rose, 16 fell and 12 were unchanged.
Pumpkin Patch rose 14% to 91 cents, paring its slump this year to about 70%. “The buyback reflects our belief in the true underlying value of the Pumpkin Patch brand and our confidence in the company's continued financial performance into the future,” chief executive Maurice Prendergast said today. Earlier this month he said profit may fall amid the most difficult trading conditions he had seen in 15 years as chief executive.
Warehouse Group, the biggest retailer on the NZX 50, fell 1.1% to NZ$3.53.
Fletcher Building, the biggest construction company on the benchmark index, gained 2.2% to NZ$5.54 after an ANZ Bank report showed housing affordability had picked up in its latest monthly survey. Fletcher plans to raise up to $200 million through the sale of five and seven-year capital notes that pay interest of 9%.
ANZ Bank’s property gauges show affordability is improving though it is “a slow grind down,” it said. Costs for servicing a home loan remained high, and rising, according to the November report. Consents and house sales were at “rock bottom,” levels not seen for 15 years.
“We believe we can see the light at the end of the tunnel,” said Mark Walton, markets economist at Bank of New Zealand. “The extent of fiscal and monetary easing already undertaken – with more of both to come – combined with sharp falls in petrol and food prices, will pave the way for economic recovery through the second half of 2009.”
Fisher & Paykel Appliances gained 5.1% to NZ$1.24, trimming its slide this year to 65%. Pike River Coal advanced 6.9% to 93 cents and has dropped 20% this year.
Richina Pacific soared 38% to 33 cents after the company announced late Friday that it will seek shareholder approval to reorganise into four separate divisions with separately trading shares. The company would amalgamate assets such as Shanghai Leather into the parent among the changes and its existing shares would be delisted.
Lyttelton Port fell 1.1% to NZ$2.65 after Christchurch City Holdings completed its stand in the market to buy additional shares at NZ$2.75 apiece. The city lifted its stake to 78.16% from about 75%. North Island rival Port of Tauranga fell 6.6% to NZ$5.65.
Rakon rose about 1% to NZ$1.04, paring its slump this year to about 75% after the maker of navigation components said on Friday it may eliminate about 45 jobs as it streamlines its Auckland manufacturing operation, cutting costs to cope with the economic downturn.
The S&P/ASX 200 Index gained 0.3% to 3425.1 in Sydney.
NZX Top 50
Last updated: 24/11/2008 5:09pm
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