MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares rise; Pumpkin Patch jumps

Article – Businesswire

MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares rise as qtr ends; Pumpkin Patch up on U.S. retreat

MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares rise as qtr ends; Pumpkin Patch up on U.S. retreat

June 30 – New Zealand shares rose, led by Pumpkin Patch Ltd., after the children’s clothing chain said it would close most of its U.S. stores, while a survey showed business confidence improved for a second month.

The NZX 50 Index rose 20.98, or 0.8%, to 2796.10, rallying into the end of the quarter and bringing its advance in the past three months tom about 5%. Within the index, 23 stocks rose, 22 fell and five were unchanged. Turnover was NZ$157.8 million, making it one of the busiest days this year.

Pumpkin Patch rose 10% to NZ$1.49. The retailer intends to build its U.S. presence from a smaller base, closing mostly newer stores that had struggled to gain traction in difficult markets, said chief executive Maurice Prendergast.

Fletcher Building climbed 3% to NZ$6.58 and Port of Tauranga gained 2.3% to NZ$6.15, pacing the index’s advance after the National Bank Business Outlook survey showed its second monthly positive reading.

A net 5.5% of firms expect business conditions to improve in the next 12 months, up from 1.9% last month when the series reported optimists outweighed pessimists for the first time since September last year.

Even though the economy continues to shrink, “the positive spin is that the pace of contraction is occurring at a slower rate,” said Cameron Bagrie, National bank’s chief economist.

Agriculture related companies fell as the survey showed profit expectations from the sector have retreated on the prospect of Fonterra Cooperative Group’s reduced payment for this season. NZ Farming Systems Uruguay dropped 10% to 45 cents and PGG Wrightson, the nation’s biggest rural services company, fell 3.4% to NZ$1.13.

Telecom Corp. slipped 0.4% to NZ$2.73 after the Commerce Commission rejected the level of fees proposed by Telecom and Vodafone to terminate calls on their networks and recommended the prices be regulated.

Tourism Holdings Ltd., which relies of overseas tourists to rent its campervans, fell 6.7% to 42 cents as the New Zealand dollar held above 65 U.S. cents. The company, which is dropping out of the NZX 50, has announced a wage freeze as it adjusts to the downturn in demand.

Air New Zealand fell 1.1% to 90 cents after the airline lost a court challenge to increased landing charges at Wellington International Airport. The Court of Appeal upheld a High Court ruling that the airport could increase fees in steps as long as the airline was consulted, according to the Dominion Post.

Jeweller Michael Hill International fell 9% to 60 cents and Skellerup Holdings declined 8.9% to 51 cents.

(BusinessWire)

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