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Shares edge up as Air NZ flies high

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 28/03/2017 Sophie Boot
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New Zealand shares rose on Tuesday, although the market was mixed, with Air New Zealand gaining after strong operating metrics and A2 Milk Co falling from a record high.

The S&P/NZX 50 Index gained 2.51 points, or 0.04 per cent, to 7,065.22. Within the index, 23 stocks rose, 19 fell and eight were unchanged. Turnover was $168 million,

Air New Zealand led the index, up 3.1 per cent to $2.365.

In its monthly operating statistics for February, the national carrier reported a 2 per cent rise in revenue passenger kilometres compared to February 2016, with capacity up 5.3 per cent.

Short-haul passenger numbers increased 2.2 per cent, while long haul numbers rose 3.1 per cent.

"They really do have a cash cow when it comes to the New Zealand domestic market," said James Smalley, director at Hamilton Hindin Greene.

"At around $2.30 the market does seem to give it a bit of support. If the dollar falls it's good for inbound tourism, but in reality, they want a dollar around these levels because their margin is ultimately a reflection of where the dollar is."

A2 Milk was the worst performer, down 3.4 per cent to $2.85, though that comes after a strong run in the month so far which culminated in it reaching a record $2.85 on Monday.

Spark dipped 0.4 per cent to $3.39, while TeamTalk gained 12 per cent to $1.04. The telecommunications minnow has been in a war of words with Spark after independent adviser Grant Samuel & Associates found the underlying value of TeamTalk is between $1.52 to $2.11 per share - well above Spark's 80 cent offer.

On Friday, TeamTalk announced it had agreed to sell a 70 per cent stake in its Farmside rural internet services provider to Vodafone for $10 million. Shareholders will vote on the plan next month at a special meeting.

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