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Shares gain after central banks hold rates

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 22/09/2016 Sophie Boot

New Zealand shares gained as investors took comfort after central banks made no interest rate moves, with Ebos Group, Tower and Orion Health Group leading the index higher.

The S&P/NZX50 Index rose 30.54 points, or 0.4 per cent, to 7,311.71. Within the index, 26 stocks rose, 18 fell and six were unchanged. Turnover was $112.4 million.

Three central bank meetings - the Bank of Japan, the US Federal Reserve and New Zealand's Reserve Bank - held meetings in the last 24 hours.

The Fed, whose officials had earlier hinted it could move to raise rates pushing global markets into a spin, stayed put, as did the local central bank.

"While it was expected the Federal Reserve and the RBNZ would do nothing, markets like that certainty, so now they're behind us people feel as if they've got a bit more clarity over the short term at least to get on with things," Mark Lister, head of private wealth research at Craigs Investment Partners, said.

"The Reserve Bank in New Zealand pretty clearly signalled that they want to cut rates at least one more time. That whole low-interest theme is still behind us as a tailwind for the time being, so that's probably causing a bit of support."

Ebos Group led the index, up 2.7 per cent to $18.90.

Tower gained 2.6 per cent to 98.5 cents. It has dropped 49.5 per cent this year after its first-half results disappointed and it had to provision $16 million extra for Christchurch earthquake claims.

Orion Health Group rose 2.5 per cent to $3.69. The health software developer is still on track to return to profit in 2018, though the strength of the kiwi is crimping revenue in local currency terms and drained more cash than anticipated.

The worst performers on the index were Chorus down 2.6 per cent to $3.79, Heartland Bank falling 1.9 per cent to $1.57, Spark dropping 1.4 per cent to $3.575 and Fletcher Building down 1.2 per cent to $10.60.

Fonterra Shareholders Fund dropped 0.5 per cent to $5.90.

Fonterra, which has raised its forecast milk payout twice in as many months, posted a 65 per cent gain in full-year profit as cost cutting and cheaper milk prices made up for a decline in sales.

Outside the main index, Trilogy International fell 12.9 per cent to $4.05, while Restaurant Brands rose 0.9 per cent to $5.70.

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