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NZ shares rise as Fletcher in trading halt

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 17/03/2017 Sophie Boot

New Zealand shares rose on Friday, with Fletcher Building in a trading halt ahead of an announcement Monday, while New Zealand Refining dropped after BP New Zealand Holdings sold down its stake.

The S&P/NZX50 Index gained 6.16 points, or 0.09 per cent, to 7,158.15. Within the index, 31 stocks rose, 14 fell and three were unchanged. Turnover was $381.2 million.

Fletcher Building gained 1 per cent to $9.22 before being placed in a trading halt minutes after the market opened for what it said was a review of the financial performance of its construction division and the impact on earnings guidance previously provided to the market.

"We'll find out on Monday what that means, but it doesn't sound good," said Mark Lister, head of private wealth research at Craigs Investment Partners.

"It's a little bit unusual to go into a trading halt just because you're putting out an update.

"It's a bit of an enigma to be honest - you've had this wonderful construction backdrop for the last few years and you'd think companies like Fletcher are going great guns, whether it's from the Christchurch rebuild or the housing market, but for whatever reason they don't seem to be able to capture and benefit from that," Mr Lister said.

Goodman Property Trust led the index higher, gaining 1.7 per cent to $1.19, while Kathmandu Holdings gained 1.6 per cent to $1.97 and A2 Milk Co rose 1.5 per cent to $2.68. Spark fell 2.3 per cent to $3.44.

NZ Refining was the worst performer, down 4 per cent to $2.39. BP New Zealand Holdings has sold down more than half its holding in the nation's only oil refinery operator, reducing its stake to 10.09 per cent.

Sky TV fell 2.8 per cent to $3.49, while Warehouse Group lost 2.6 per cent to $2.29 on its last day on the benchmark index.

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