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NZX gains again as Xero leads index

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 30/03/2017 Sophie Boot

New Zealand shares advanced on Thursday, led Xero and Spark New Zealand while NPT and Argosy Property dropped.

The S&P/NZX 50 Index gained 35.55 points, or 0.5 per cent, to 7,169.12. Within the index, 24 stocks rose, 18 fell and eight were unchanged. Turnover was $166 million.

The local index has risen for three sessions in a row, bolstered by strong leads from international markets.

Xero led the index, up 3 per cent to $19.29 after saying it reached a milestone of signing more than 1 million customers, while Spark New Zealand gained 2.5 per cent to $3.45 and SkyCity Entertainment Group rose 2 per cent to $4.09.

Infratil rose 1.9 per cent to $2.905. On Wednesday, the Wellington-based investment firm said it anticipates flat earnings in the 2018 financial year but is confident it can keep boosting returns to shareholders and is still on the prowl for new acquisitions.

"We had a healthy bounce after there was a bit of disappointment from the market yesterday. We had probably perceived lower guidance than people were expecting," said David Price, a broker at Forsyth Barr.

"It was disappointing, but the issue is the stock is trading at a decent discount, and when you look across the market there's a lot of stocks trading at a premium to our valuation, so I suppose that's what's given it support."

Fletcher Building gained 0.5 per cent to $8.29. The shares have dropped 22 per cent so far this year but began recovering on Wednesday.

Air New Zealand rose 1.6 per cent to $2.495. The shares have gained 8.7 per cent since Tuesday.

Argosy Property was the worst performer, down 1.5 per cent to 98 cents.

Outside the benchmark index, NPT dropped 1.7 per cent to 59 cents. It will pitch its favoured tie-up with Kiwi Property Group at a special meeting next month.

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