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MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares up; Pushpay, Air NZ gain while Genesis, Mercury weaken

Wednesday 27th June 2018

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New Zealand shares gained in light trading, led higher by Pushpay Holdings and Air New Zealand while Genesis Energy and Mercury New Zealand fell.

The S&P/NZX50 Index rose 6.72 points, or 0.08 percent, to 8,996.52. Within the index, 26 stocks fell, 16 rose and eight were unchanged. Turnover was $118.3 million.

Pushpay led the index higher, up 2.7 percent to $4.18. 

"Tech stocks are more in favour in the US - they have been sold off in the last few days over talks about a retail tax affecting that tech sector, but that trade war rhetoric has died down a bit. They're stronger today on reasonable volume," said Peter McIntyre, investment adviser at Craigs Investment Partners.

Air New Zealand gained 2.2 percent to $3.22. The company has been ordered to pay A$15 million for its role in a global air cargo cartel through the middle of last decade by Australia's Federal Court, and has agreed to pay A$2 million towards the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission's costs.

"They've obviously provisioned for this because it has no material impact on their guidance for 2018 earnings," McIntyre said. "The market has taken that in its stride and expected Air New Zealand to have that provisioned and that has been the case."

Synlait Milk rose 2.7 percent to $11.50, Spark New Zealand was up 1.8 percent to $3.75, and Fisher & Paykel Healthcare gained 1.4 percent to $15.26.

Genesis Energy was the worst performer, down 2.2 percent to $2.415, while Mercury NZ dropped 1.9 percent to $3.32 and Mainfreight fell 1.7 percent to $27.50.

Investore Property dipped 0.7 percent to $1.48. At its annual general meeting for shareholders, the Auckland-based large-format retail property investor managed by Stride Property confirmed guidance for an annual cash dividend payment of 7.46 cents a share for its fiscal 2019 year. 

It told shareholders it will focus on potential acquisition and development of adjoining and adjacent properties, redevelopment for so-called brownfields - contaminated and underused industrial and commercial properties - as well as a potential share-buyback programme.

"All in all, not a bad meeting — an upbeat, positive one. They've had a reasonable run over the last 12 months," McIntyre said. 

CBL Corp remained frozen at $3.17. The Serious Fraud Office is now investigating CBL Insurance and associated entities, adding to investigations by the Reserve Bank and Financial Markets Authority. Its stock was suspended from the NZX on Feb. 8 amid concerns from NZX Regulation about the information it had given the market.


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