Article – Businesswire
Sept. 30 (BusinessWire) – New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index rose, ending the third quarter at a 12-month high, after business confidence surged, stoking speculation the domestic economy will extend its recovery from recession. Road transport firm Mainfreight …
MARKET CLOSE: NZX 50 ends quarter at 12-month high; Mainfreight, AMP gain
Sept. 30 (BusinessWire) – New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index rose, ending the third quarter at a 12-month high, after business confidence surged, stoking speculation the domestic economy will extend its recovery from recession. Road transport firm Mainfreight Ltd. paced the advance.
The NZX 50 Index rose 5.66, or 0.2%, to 3136.06, the highest since early October 2008 and rounding out a quarterly gain of 13%. Within the index, 25 stocks rose, 15 fell and 10 were unchanged. Turnover was $100 million.
Business confidence surged to a 10-year high this month, underpinned by resurgent housing and construction markets as the economic recovery sets in. A net 49% of firms expect general business conditions to improve in the coming year, up from a net 34% in August, according to the National Bank Business Outlook.
The jump is “yet further confirmation that the economy is on the mend,” said Stephen Toplis, head of research at Bank of New Zealand. “Profit expectations rose further and investment intentions held their own.’ While not particularly high, “both are moving in the right direction.”
Mainfreight climbed 2.3% to $5.32 and has surged 26% in the past three months. When posting a 67% slide in first quarter profit last month, managing director Don Braid said trading in July and August had improved and was expected to continue through 2009.
Port of Tauranga, New Zealand’s biggest port operator, gained 2.1% to $6.78 and has advanced about 10% in the third quarter.
Restaurant Brands, which owns the local franchises for KFC, Pizza Hut and Starbucks outlets, rose 1.7% to $1.23. The fast-food operator last week reported a 4.8% gain in second-quarter sales and reaffirmed its recent forecast for first-half earnings to soar 87% on the turnaround at the long-unprofitable Pizza Hut and sales growth at KFC.
Goodman Fielder, the Australasian food and ingredients group, gained 7% to $2.10, leading the index higher. Insurer AMP Ltd. gained 4.6% to $8.
Rakon Ltd., the manufacturer of components for navigation systems, gained 2.5% to $1.25.
Pyne Gould Corp. jumped 16% from a record low to 58 cents. The investment group is raising as much as $270 million selling shares at 40 cents apiece, seeking to restore a balance sheet eroded by write-downs on property loans. The shares had declined amid reports some investors were exiting the stock rather than participate in the offer of six new shares for every one held.
Fisher & Paykel Appliances held at 69 cents after the manufacturer won agreement from its banks to modify the terms of its banking facilities after earnings missed targets.
PGG Wrightson fell 3% to 64 cents, leading the index lower. Jeweller Michael Hill International fell 2.8% to 70 cents.