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NZX hits record, led by Comvita recovery

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 27/06/2017

Sky TV extends slide as NZX 50 falls © Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images Sky TV extends slide as NZX 50 falls New Zealand shares rose to a new record on Tuesday, led by a recovery in Comvita after the manuka honey health products maker downplayed the impact the Myrtle rust fungal disease would have on the wider industry.

Tower jumped on news its board was backing an Australian takeover bid.

The S&P/NZX 50 Index climbed 30.85 points, or 0.4 per cent, to 7626.35, having reached an intraday high of 7,637.05.

Within the index, 27 stocks rose, 15 fell and eight were unchanged. Turnover was $130 million.

Comvita led the benchmark index higher, rising 6.7 per cent to a month-high close of $5.87 after the Te Puke-based company said Myrtle rust posed a low risk to the manuka honey industry based on Australia's experience.

"Investors were pretty cautious about that and that news certainly boosted that share price," said Grant Williamson, a director at Hamilton Hindin Greene in Christchurch.

The Myrtle rust outbreak was the latest in a string of bad news for Comvita's share price, pushing it near two-year lows, and Mr Williamson said it was "a nice recovery today seeing the bargain hunters come in".

Mr Williamson said the America's Cup victory by Team New Zealand didn't give the market the same boost as in the past, although local success on the international scene tended to help investor sentiment.

Fisher & Paykel Healthcare, which derives most of its income from exports, rose 1.2 per cent to close at a new record $11.38.

Outside the benchmark index, Tower jumped 15 per cent to $1.33 after the board gave its blessing to a takeover bid by Australia's Suncorp Group.

The ASX-listed owner of Vero Insurance New Zealand is offering $1.40 a share for Tower, valuing the general insurer at $236 million, and will need regulatory and shareholder approval to get over the line.

NZX was unchanged at $1.10 after the stock market operator signalled plans to consolidate its three markets into a single board.

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