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NZ shares rise as Brexit fears ease

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 20/06/2016 Sophie Boot

New Zealand shares rose as Brexit fears eased, though trading remained light with investors waiting to see the result later this week. Mainfreight and A2 Milk gained, while Warehouse Group dropped.

The S&P/NZX 50 Index rose 22.46 points, or 0.3 per cent, to 6,869.53. Within the index, 26 stocks rose, 16 fell and eight were unchanged. Turnover was $120.8 million.

Brexit fears appear to have eased slightly, with some polls over the weekend indicating more Britons would prefer to remain in the European Union, but a volatile week is still expected leading into the vote, with results due around 10am Friday local time.

"It's a very big macro week for markets to deal with, and while markets are finding a firmer footing it will take a while to wash through," said Shane Solly, director at Harbour Asset Management.

Mainfreight was the biggest gainer, up 3.9 per cent to $16.62.

A2 Milk rose 3.5 per cent to $1.77. Last Wednesday the milk marketing company raised its full-year guidance and said it is well placed to cope with changes to infant formula regulations in China, and has gained 12.7 per cent since then, though is still short of its $2.10 highs from February this year.

Solly said the share price had not reacted much to the positive result announcement " so it's having a bit of a catch-up there."

Property for Industry advanced 3.6 per cent to $1.57 while Vital Healthcare Property Trust gained 2.3 per cent to $2.22.

Both dual-listed banks gained, with Westpac up 2.1 per cent to $30.64 while ANZ rose 1.8 per cent to $24.95.

Warehouse Group was the worst performer, down 3.2 per cent to $2.76. James Pascoe, the retail group owned by David and Anne Norman, lifted its holding in Warehouse Group to 17.5 per cent buying shares on-market last week.

Outside the main index, APN News & Media was unchanged at $4.76 even after its trading halt was lifted. The Sydney-based company was in a halt before it announced it had received Overseas Investment Office approval for its plan to split out its NZME unit ahead of a potential merger with rival Fairfax Media's New Zealand operations.

Wynyard Group gained 7.8 per cent to 69 cents.

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