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NZ shares gain as NZX hits record

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 4/07/2016 Jonathan Underhill
Kathmandu rose 0.6 per cent to $1.60. The shares have soared about 20 per cent since June 30, when the company raised its forecast for annual earnings. © AAP Kathmandu rose 0.6 per cent to $1.60. The shares have soared about 20 per cent since June 30, when the company raised its forecast for annual earnings.

New Zealand shares rose, pushing the S&P/NZX 50 Index to its highest level in almost a month, as investors cheered growth in the number of airlines using Auckland International Airport and the outlook for low interest rates helped lift companies including Trade Me Group, Chorus and Mighty River Power.

The NZX 50 gained 14.72 points, or 0.2 per cent, to 6,940.95. Within the index, 23 stocks rose, 18 fell and nine were unchanged. Turnover was about $80 million as a typically low-volume Monday was exacerbated by the looming US Independence Day holiday.

The benchmark index has gained each day since June 24 (NZ time) when it fell as the results of the UK's Brexit referendum were released. Since then, British politicians have signalled they are in no rush to formally begin the process of leaving the European Union.

Auckland Airport rose 1.4 per cent to $6.745. The airport last week welcomed daily flights between Los Angeles and Auckland by American Airlines, which became the 23rd international airline to fly to the city. The new service will add 165,000 seats a year between New Zealand and the US. The airport's stock reached a record $6.895 on March 8.

"Auckland Airport is showing some very solid gains," said Grant Williamson, a director at Hamilton Hindin Greene. "International airlines are coming into the Auckland market creating more competition. It's very good for Auckland Airport."

Air New Zealand rose about 1 per cent to $2.11.

Kathmandu rose 0.6 per cent to $1.60. The shares have soared about 20 per cent since June 30, when the company raised its forecast for annual earnings, saying margins were improving on new products, better management of promotional activity and cost savings. The New Zealand Superannuation fund's stake in Kathmandu has fallen below 5% as Mint Asset Management used the share price rise on June 30 to sell some holdings, documents published to the NZX today showed.

Trade Me Group rose 3.9 per cent to $4.75.

Chorus rose 2.2 per cent to $4.345 and Spark rose 0.6 per cent to $3.55.

Mighty River Power rose 0.3 per cent to $3 and TrustPower gained 0.3 per cent to $7.70. TrustPower's majority owner Infratil rose 0.3 per cent to $3.26.

Tegel Group Holdings, the nation's largest poultry company, gained 1.8 per cent to $1.66, while transport group Mainfreight rose 1.1 per cent to $16.90.

Summerset Group Holdings led gains among retirement village operators, rising 0.7 per cent to $4.51, while Metlifecare rose 0.5 per cent to $5.58 and Ryman Healthcare gained 0.3 per cent to $9.28.

Meridian Energy was the biggest decliner, falling 1.9 per cent to $2.56 and Vital Healthcare Property Trust dropped 1.6 per cent to $2.155.

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