MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares rise, delivering 6.6% 1st-qtr gain

Article – BusinessDesk

March 30 (BusinessDesk) – New Zealand shares rose, pushing the NZX 50 Index to a 6.6 percent quarterly gain, as signs of a return of global growth helped underpin demand for equities. Children’s clothing retailer Pumpkin Patch and rural services …

MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares rise, rounding out quarterly 6.6% gain

March 30 (BusinessDesk) – New Zealand shares rose, pushing the NZX 50 Index to a 6.6 percent quarterly gain, as signs of a return of global growth helped underpin demand for equities. Children’s clothing retailer Pumpkin Patch and rural services group PGG Wrightson led the advance today.

The NZX 50 climbed 14.10 points, or 0.4 percent, to 3509.54, a two-week high. Within the index, 16 stocks gained, 11 fell and 13 were unchanged. Turnover was $160.9 million, making it one of the busiest days this year.

“Investors have had more confidence in the market on better international news – we have got more confidence around the US market,” said Chris Timms, investor adviser at Craigs Investment Partners. “It is the end of the quarter and we will wait to see how the US and overseas markets do overnight.”

Pumpkin Patch rose 3 percent to $1.03. Clothing chain Hallenstein Glasson Holdings rose 1.3 percent to $4.01. The retailer this week confirmed first-half profit rose 26 percent on record Christmas sales. The stock has a dividend yield of about 12 percent.

“They are offering a good dividend and with interest rates the way they are they are attractive,” Timms said.

Wrightson rose 2.6 percent to 39 cents. Fonterra Cooperative Group, the world’s biggest exporter of dairy products, this week posted an 18 percent gain in first half profit, driven by earnings from ingredients such as milk powder.

Contact Energy shares rose 1.3 percent to $4.73 after the power company urged the stock exchange operator NZX to stagger its move to a free-float model of calculating its index weightings.

Contact stands to take a smaller weighting in the benchmark NZX 50 Index on the new model due to Origin Energy’s majority stake in the power company. The shares have dropped 11 percent this year.
Shares in Pyne Gould Corporation were unchanged at 34 cents on the final day of a takeover attempt by majority shareholders George Kerr and Baker Street Capital. Their investment vehicle Australasian Equity Partners Fund No. 1 ended the day with 76 percent of the company offering 37 cents a share.

Fletcher Building was unchanged at $6.74 after government figures showed weak issuance of permits for new construction. Building consents rose 1.2 percent last month according to Statistics New Zealand, bolstered by requests to build new apartments. Stripping out apartment issuance, the number of consents fell 6.7 percent.

Shares in Renaissance Corporation climbed 9.1 percent to 12 cents after the Apple products distributer said it received another $2 million payment from its insurer over the Christchurch earthquake, which resulted in its head office being condemned.

(BusinessDesk)

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