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NZ shares rise in run-up to Christmas

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 23/12/2016 Paul McBeth
The S&P/NZX 50 index advanced 25.13 points, or 0.4 per cent, to 6,877, extending its run of gains to six sessions. © Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images The S&P/NZX 50 index advanced 25.13 points, or 0.4 per cent, to 6,877, extending its run of gains to six sessions.

New Zealand shares rose in abbreviated trading ahead of the Christmas holiday, led by blue-chip stocks including Auckland International Airport and Spark.

The S&P/NZX 50 index advanced 25.13 points, or 0.4 per cent, to 6,877, extending its run of gains to six sessions.

Within the index, 23 stocks rose, 16 declined, and 11 were unchanged. Turnover was $57.6 million, some $9.1 million of that on trading in A2 Milk shares, which fell, with light trading in the run-up to Christmas and the stock exchange settling at the earlier time of 1.30pm.

Australia's S&P/ASX 200 index was largely flat in early trading, with both bourses shrugging off Wall Street's decline.

Auckland Airport led the NZX 50 higher, rising 2.3 per cent to $6.66, while Spark gained 1.8 per cent to $3.45. Port of Tauranga was up 1.6 per cent to $3.79 and Meridian Energy increased 1.6 per cent to $2.575. Heartland Bank also gained 2 per cent to $1.50.

Warehouse Group posted the biggest decline on the benchmark index, falling 2.4 per cent to $2.80 ahead of the final flurry of Christmas trading.

Among other stocks to fall, A2 Milk Co dropped 2.3 per cent to $2.09 on turnover of $9.1 million, while Argosy Property slipped 1 per cent to $1, and Vector declined 1 per cent to $3.13.

Outside the benchmark index, Tenon said it's holding exclusive talks with a potential buyer of its New Zealand assets, which if successful would see the entity return surplus cash and liquidate what used to be Fletcher Challenge. The shares rose 4.6 per cent to $2.30, and shares of Rubicon, which controls Tenon, gained 4.8 per cent to 22 cents.

Fletcher Building slipped 0.2 per cent to $10.75 and IkeGPS was unchanged at 39 cents.

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