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NZ shares gain, taking lead from US

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 29/03/2017 Sophie Boot

New Zealand shares gained on Wednesday, led by A2 Milk Co and Fletcher Building, while TeamTalk extended its rally.

Metro Performance Glass and Infratil fell.

The S&P/NZX 50 Index rose 68.33 points, or 1 per cent, to 7133.56. Within the index, 32 stocks rose, 12 fell and six were unchanged. Turnover was $137 million.

"We had a pretty big night overseas, everything was looking pretty positive this morning after strong leads from the US and elsewhere, so unsurprisingly we've followed suit and it's been a pretty good day," said Mark Lister, head of private wealth research at Craigs Investment Partners.

A2 Milk led the index, gaining 3.9 per cent to $2.96, a record high, and Air New Zealand continued Tuesday's gains, up 3.8 per cent to $2.455.

Fletcher Building rose 3.8 per cent to $8.25, having dropped 25 per cent so far this year after its first-half earnings disappointed the market in February.

"It's staging a bit of a rebound after obviously coming under huge pressure following that big earnings downgrade, but it's attracted a few bargain hunters," Mr Lister said.

Genesis Energy was the worst performer, down 9.5 cents or 4.4 per cent to $2.05 after shedding rights to an 8.2 cent dividend.

Metro Glass dropped 4.3 per cent to $1.34 and has fallen 30 per cent so far this year, making it the worst performer on the NZX 50.

"That's close to the lowest since it listed, it's a pretty decent fall from north of $2 where it was six months ago," Mr Lister said. "It's another company in a similar sector to Fletcher Building which is struggling to benefit from that macro strength you're seeing in the construction market."

Infratil dropped 2.1 per cent to $2.85. The Wellington-based investment firm is anticipating flat earnings in the 2018 financial year.

Outside the benchmark index, TeamTalk rose 2.9 per cent to $1.07.

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