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Orion Health leads S&P/NZX 50 index

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 7/04/2016 Sophie Boot

Orion Health Group says its operating revenue has grown seven per cent despite a slow down in North America. © File photo Orion Health Group says its operating revenue has grown seven per cent despite a slow down in North America. New Zealand shares rose, pushing the S&P/NZX 50 index to a new record, as Orion Health Group continued to benefit from a new Australian contract, while SkyCity Entertainment Group fell after its chief executive resigned.

The NZX 50 rose 20.95 points, or 0.3 per cent, to 6,755.22. Within the index, 23 stocks rose, 17 fell and 10 were unchanged. Turnover was $243.3 million.

Orion led the index for a second session, gaining 4.6 per cent to $3.84, an eight-month high.

The health systems software company on Wednesday announced its second large contract in a fortnight, this time with the largest health service provider in the Australian state of Queensland, Metro North.

"It's been under enormous pressure, so it's just regaining a bit of ground," said Rickey Ward, New Zealand equity manager at JBWere.

The biggest news of the day came from SkyCity, which fell 3.8 per cent to $4.76. Chief executive Nigel Morrison resigned from New Zealand's only listed casino company saying he is keen to take a break from the "demanding job" following an eight-year tenure.

Coats Group rose 4.4 per cent to 60 cents, while Air New Zealand grew 2.9 per cent to $3.03.

Meridian Energy advanced 2.7 per cent to $2.70 and Fletcher Building improved 1.8 per cent to $7.87.

Infratil gained 1.7 per cent to $3.35, and A2 Milk Co rose 1.6 per cent to $1.94.

Fonterra Shareholders Fund lost 3.6 per cent, or 21 cents, to $5.66 after giving up rights to a 20 cent interim dividend. Sky TV dropped 2.5 per cent to $4.76.

Steel & Tube Holdings shed 2.2 per cent to $2.25. After market close on Wendesday, the Commerce Commission said Steel & Tube's seismic steel mesh didn't meet the requirements of the standard and it understands the mesh will not be sold until compliance can be demonstrated.

Diligent Corp, which will likely be acquired by venture capital firm Insight Venture Partners for US$4.90 a share, dropped 0.8 per cent to $7.06, near the $7.16 price implied at today's exchange rate.

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