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MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares mixed as index rebalancing looms; Pushpay, A2 gain

Monday 17th September 2018

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New Zealand shares were mixed in light trading as investors weighed up the impact of index rebalancing at the end of this week. Growth stocks Pushpay Holdings and A2 Milk Co gained, while Sky Network Television fell. 

The S&P/NZX 50 index edged up 0.77 of a point, or 0.01 percent, to 9,271.53. Within the index, 20 stocks gained, 23 fell and seven were unchanged. Turnover was $89.4 million. 

Several Australian stock indices tracked by passive investment funds will rebalance at the end of the week. The new line-ups will take effect from next month, including Sky TV's exit from the S&P/ASX 300 index. Sky TV fell 2.8 percent to $2.06, just shy of the $2.05 low it hit on Sept. 6.

David Price, a broker at Forsyth Barr, said trading had been particularly quiet for a number of days and that the index rebalancing will attract most focus this week. 

"There'll be quite a bit going on this Friday with some large index changes. That'll be the highlight of the week." 

Pushpay rose 2.7 percent to $4.15, extending last week's gain on a broker upgrade. A2 rose 2.5 percent to $12.29 after a Forsyth Barr research note said new Chinese e-commerce rules should play to the milk marketer's strengths. Synlait Milk fell 1.6 percent to $12.95 ahead of its annual result on Thursday. 

Chorus gained 2.1 percent to $4.89 and Ebos Group rose 2.1 percent to $22.44. 

Retirement stocks largely fell. Price said the decline was too small to attribute to the recently announced Australian Royal Commission into aged care, which saw the likes of ASX-listed Estia Health sink 17 percent. Summerset Group fell 2.6 percent to $7.60, Metlifecare declined 1.9 percent to $6.26 and Ryman Healthcare decreased 1.1 percent to $13.55. 

Property For Industry slipped 2.5 percent to $1.755 after opening a seven-year bond offer. The real estate investor wants to raise $100 million which it will use to repay bank debt and diversify its funding at a lower cost. 

Infratil declined 1.1 percent to $3.47 and Mercury NZ was unchanged at $3.28. Tilt Renewable's independent adviser valued the wind and solar generation business at a premium to the duo's $2.30 a share offer. Tilt rose 4.8 percent to $2.41. 

Kathmandu was unchanged at $3.18 ahead of its annual result tomorrow. The retailer has said net profit should rise to between $48 million and $52 million from $38 million in 2017. 

(BusinessDesk)

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