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NZ shares rise on 'random order flow'

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 29/12/2016 Sophie Boot
The S&P/NZX 50 Index edged up 16.49 points. © Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images The S&P/NZX 50 Index edged up 16.49 points.

New Zealand shares rose on light volume, with A2 Milk Co, Z Energy and Air New Zealand all gaining, while Freightways dropped.

The S&P/NZX 50 Index edged up 16.49 points, or 0.2 per cent, to 6,892.28. Within the index, 32 stocks rose, 11 fell and seven were unchanged. Turnover was light at $65.8 million.

"It's a series of price moves driven by the existence of an order or not in a market that's pretty illiquid today," said Matt Goodson, managing director at Salt Funds Management.

"You have the odd counter-intuitive move, our market's up fractionally despite quite a weak lead from the US. Really it's just random order flow in the market driving a few things around."

A2 led the index, up 2.4 per cent to $2.12. The milk marketer's shares have been dragged this month after Australian rival Bellamy's was placed in a trading halt but began recovering when it gave a market update on Dec. 21.

"Bellamy's has been a reminder of some of the risks in the sector though it appears to be more a case of supply contracts causing their trouble, and A2's in quite a different situation, but those issues have put a bit of a lid on A2," Goodson said.

Z Energy gained 2.4 per cent to $7.22.

Air New Zealand rose 2.4 per cent to $2.17. It has dropped 20 per cent this year, though the shares have rallied since the two-year low of $1.715 it reached in October.

"It's been very strong over a number of weeks which has been interesting - despite oil price increases, despite yield pressure in recent passenger stats and despite a plethora of international competition, whether that stays around in the long term remains to be seen," Goodson said.

Freightways was down 1.9 per cent to $6.71, while Spark New Zealand dropped 1.6 per cent to $3.415 and Comvita fell 1.3 per cent to $8.19.

Outside the benchmark index, Hellaby Holdings gained 0.3 per cent to $3.51 and ASX-listed Bapcor gained 0.7 per cent to A$5.92.

Auto-parts company Bapcor is creeping closer to control of Hellaby with an unfriendly offer in the market at $3.60 per share and has built a 47.5 per cent stake according to its latest disclosure on Thursday.

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