MARKET CLOSE: NZX 50 above 3,000; Ryman, BGR gain

Article – Businesswire

July 31 – New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index ended the week above 3,000, holding near a 10-month high as optimism for a recovery in the global economy helped equity markets to rally and drove up commodity prices. Retirement village operator Ryman Healthcare …

MARKET CLOSE: NZX 50 ends week above 3,000; Ryman, Briscoe gain

July 31 – New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index ended the week above 3,000, holding near a 10-month high as optimism for a recovery in the global economy helped equity markets to rally and drove up commodity prices. Retirement village operator Ryman Healthcare gained after predicting earnings would rise this year and retailer Briscoe Group climbed after saying profit doubled.

The NZX 50 rose 22.20, or 0.7%, to 3016.20. Within the index, 32 stocks rose, six fell and 12 were unchanged. Turnover was NZ$114.5 million.

Ryman rose 3.6% to NZ$1.75, the highest close in 10 months. “We are experiencing strong demand for our new villages,” chairman David Kerr told shareholders at their annual meeting in Christchurch. “There is no let up in our building programme – we’re as busy as we’ve ever been.” Reported profit would top last year’s NZ$53 million.

Briscoe, the owner of homeware, Rebel Sports goods, Urban Loft and Living & Giving chains, surged 9.3% to NZ$1.18 after saying profit in the six months through July 26 was at least NZ$6 million, double the year-earlier period, after it streamlined its tiers of management and reduced inventories to cut costs.

The results helped lift retailers as a group, with the NZSX Consumer Index climbing 2.5%, the biggest gain of any industry group today.

Hallenstein Glasson Holdings rose 5.8% to NZ$2.75, Pumpkin Patch rose 3.9% to NZ$1.60 and Warehouse Group, the largest retailer on the NZX 50, rose 2.3% to NZ$3.99.

Stocks rallied across Asia as companies including Sony Corp. posted better-than-expected results and commodity prices rose. Sony gained 5.4%, helping lift Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index up 1.8% to 10344.50 in early afternoon trading. Rio Tinto gained 3.1% as the price of copper climbed, helped drive up the S&P/ASX 200 by 1.4% to 2562.30.

Mainfreight Ltd. gained 3.9% to NZ$4.55. Managing director Don Braid told shareholders yesterday that the transport company is making “steady gains in reducing costs and improving margins” though sales volumes have been impacted by slowing economies.

Australia & New Zealand Banking Group jumped 7.3% to NZ$23.60 on the NZX after Dow Jones newswire reported that it may announce the acquisition of Royal Bank of Scotland’s Taiwanese banking assets, continuing its expansion into Asia. Westpac Banking Corp. rose 2.8% to NZ$27.40.

New Zealand Oil & Gas climbed 2.5% to NZ$1.62 as global optimism about the end of recession helped boost the price of oil. Crude for September delivery climbed rose to US$67.52 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange during Asia’s day.

Pike River Coal gained 1.8% to NZ$1.15 as commodities rallied.

ProvencoCadmus sank 13% to 3.5 cents, bringing their week-long slide to more than 50% after the provider of electronic point-of-sale systems said some of its largest shareholders had declined to assist with urgently needed working capital.

“Some of the largest shareholders have declined to fund further working capital, however other shareholders, and broader restructuring avenues are still being pursued,” chairman Rick Christie said in a statement today. “The group continues to face risk and uncertainty with its forecast cash flows” while “the payments business is continuing to trade positively.”

(BusinessWire)

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