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Local shares rise as Asian markets weaken

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 6/07/2016 Jonathan Underhill
© Bloomberg

New Zealand shares rose near the close of trading, while many markets across Asia weakened, as Trade Me Group benefitted from an upgrade from Deutsche Bank and trans-Tasman firms such as Westpac fell in step with their ASX-listed shares.

The S&P/NZX 50 Index rose 6.24 points, or 0.1 per cent, to 6977.23, edging up to a new record close. Within the index and against its minor uplift, 24 stocks fell, 18 rose and eight were unchanged. Turnover was $172 million.

Trade Me rose 1.9 per cent to $4.89. Analysts at Deutsche Bank raised the company to 'hold' from 'sell' and lifted their price target to $4.68 from $3.95. Trade Me stock has gained about 45 per cent in the past 12 months, outpacing the NZX 50's 21 per cent gain.

Spark rose 1.7 per cent to $3.62 and Contact Energy rose 1.3 per cent to $5.31.

The benchmark index spent much of the day lower following declines in equity markets and commodities overnight after the Bank of England said some of the near-term risks of the Brexit had "begun to crystallise", while three UK commercial real estate funds have suspended redemptions, citing turmoil in financial markets.

Xero was the biggest decliner, falling 2.1 per cent to $17.80, while Westpac dropped 2 per cent to $29.20 and ANZ fell 1.6 per cent to $23.97. Among other companies doing business in Australia, SkyCity fell 1.5 per cent to $4.63.

"A few of the trans-Tasman stocks are coming under pressure," said James Lindsay, senior portfolio manager at Nikko Asset Management New Zealand. "Markets are a bit jittery at the moment. There's been lots of small things upsetting people, including the UK funds halting redemptions."

Sky TV fell 1.3 per cent to $4.72 even after shareholders voted on Wednesday in favour of a proposed merger with Vodafone New Zealand to create a media and telecommunications company with more grunt to foot it in a competitive market.

NZME, whose application to merge with Fairfax New Zealand is before the Commerce Commission, fell 1.4 per cent to 73 cents.

NZX, the market operator, was unchanged at $1 after its shareholder metrics showed the volume of total trades rose 18 per cent to 164,908 in June from the same month a year earlier.

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