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NZ stocks hit record, led by A2 Milk

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 7/09/2016 Sophie Boot

© Bloomberg New Zealand shares rose to another record high, driven by investors seeking dividend income, with A2 Milk continuing its bounce and Meridian Energy at an all-time high.

The S&P/NZX 50 Index gained 67.56 points, or 0.9 per cent, to 7,571.1. Within the index, 34 stocks rose, 12 fell and four were unchanged. Turnover was $187.8 million.

"The market's trading with really good volume, it seems to be the stocks that are trading with rights to an upcoming dividend that are tending to drive the index higher - investors are certainly jumping on board and purchasing those shares," Peter McIntyre, investment adviser at Craigs Investment Partners, said.

A2 Milk led the index, up 5.1 per cent to $2.06. It dropped 17.8 per cent to $1.89 over eight trading sessions after its full year results were released in late August when it announced a return to full-year profit and a 127 per cent jump in revenue that was driven by infant formula sales in Australia and China, but has bounced 9 per cent this week.

"It's been briskly traded, that's a continuation of a strong week for them," McIntyre said.

Metlifecare gained 3.1 per cent to $6.39. The retirement village operator expects to buy at least one new site in the 2017 financial year to accelerate its development programme and make the most of growing demand in the retirement village sector.

Trade Me Group rose 2.5 per cent to $5.86, Genesis Energy advanced 2.2 per cent to $2.30 and Steel & Tube Holdings, which is soon to leave the NZX 50, gained 2.2 per cent to $2.32.

Meridian Energy was up 2 per cent to $3.05, an all-time high.

Fletcher Building rose 2 per cent to $10.99.

Stocks giving up rights to dividends fell most, with Goodman Property Trust down 2.5 cents to $1.38 - its dividend was 1.663 cents - while Vector, whose dividend is 8 cents, dropped 3 cents to $3.43.

New Zealand Refining, which gave up rights to a 3 cent dividend, dropped 2 cents to $2.31.

Outside the main index, NZME gained 5.5 per cent to 77 cents and Mercantile Investments was unchanged at 15.3 cents.

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