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NZ shares rise, led by A2 Milk, Comvita

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 8/11/2016 Sophie Boot

Comvita Honey © Corbis Comvita Honey New Zealand shares rose ahead of the US presidential election, led higher by A2 Milk, Comvita, and Orion Health, while Trustpower fell.

The S&P/NZX50 Index advanced 22.08 points, or 0.3 per cent, to 6,894.35. Within the index, 25 stocks rose, 16 fell and 10 were unchanged. Turnover was $154 million.

"We started with a hiss and a roar, picking up where we left off yesterday, but things have fizzled out a bit as the day has gone on," said Mark Lister, head of private wealth research at Craigs Investment Partners.

"While people are a little more comfortable than they were last week about which way the US election will go, over the next 24 hours I don't think anyone's willing to bet the farm on it just yet, there's still an element of cautiousness."

The results from the US presidential election will start coming in Wednesday afternoon NZ time.

A2 Milk led the index, up 4.6 per cent to $2.06. The milk marketer said first quarter sales met expectations at $112.5 million with revenue driven by growth in infant formula and milk.

Comvita rose 4.4 per cent to $9.50, Tegel Group gained 3.4 per cent to $1.52, and New Zealand Refining Co advanced 3.4 per cent to $2.46.

Orion Health Group improved 1.6 per cent to $3.11. The company announced it has signed an agreement with an unnamed Canadian province for software which combines patients' primary care information with their electronic health records.

"Some of the stocks getting support are the bigger companies which have been sold off heavily over the last several weeks - Meridian, Auckland Airport, Xero, Summerset, Spark - some of those fell pretty heavily, so maybe they're up because there are a few bargain hunters around," Lister said.

Xero gained 1.5 per cent to $18, Auckland International Airport rose 1.5 per cent to $6.72, and Spark was up 1.4 per cent to $3.57.

Trustpower was the worst performer, down 2.3 per cent to $4.70, while Sky TV dropped 1.8 per cent to $4.26 and Stride Property fell 1.6 per cent to $1.86.

Outside the benchmark index, NZME dropped 24 per cent to 50 cents. The shares sank following the Commerce Commission's early view that a merger with Fairfax New Zealand would concentrate too much power under one umbrella, irrespective of the financial gains.

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