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NZ shares hit six-month high

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 6/04/2017 Rebecca Howard

New Zealand shares rose to their highest level since early October on Thursday, as A2 Milk's bull run continued.

The market shrugged off Asian jitters ahead of a potentially tense meeting between US President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping that starts overnight.

The S&P/NZX 50 index increased 24 points, or 0.4 per cent, to 7289.53. Within the index, 22 stocks gained, 10 fell and 18 were unchanged. Turnover was $175 million.

Suzanne Kinnaird, an investment adviser for Forsyth Barr Dunedin, said while "you never know what Trump might tweet" the New Zealand market isn't following other Asian markets down as investors continue to show keen interest in some key stocks.

A2 Milk "has some solid momentum and is continuing to find favour", she said.

The stock rose 3.3 per cent to $3.17, continuing to tick higher after what seemed to be a relaxation by Chinese authorities on imports via the so-called 'grey channel' or daigou last month.

Summerset added 0.9 per cent to $5.40 as investors remained cheered after the company said Wednesday it had increased sales of occupation rights at its retirement villages by 41 per cent in the first quarter and said the remainder of the year "looks positive".

In the other direction, Manuka honey company Comvita shed 4.2 per cent to $6.80.

On Wednesday Comvita warned it will post an operational loss this year due to weaker than expected trading and as a poor season dents the honey harvest in New Zealand.

Xero shed 0.5 per cent to $19.90. Interests associated with tech billionaire Peter Thiel sold about 1.1 million shares in Xero, reducing its overall holding to below 5 per cent, according to a statement on the NZX.

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