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Shares rise, led by NZX, Sky and Fletcher

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 10/03/2017 Sophie Boot
NZX signage  in Wellington.  (File photo) © Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images NZX signage in Wellington. (File photo)

New Zealand shares gained on Friday, with NZX, Sky Network Television and Fletcher Building recovering after selling this week.

The S&P/NZX50 Index rose 36.6 points, or 0.5 per cent, to 7,177.58. Within the index, 22 stocks fell, 21 rose and seven were unchanged. Turnover was $112.2 million.

"There have been some quite big moves in the market - you've seen some stocks swing around a bit, names that have been quite weak have rebounded a bit," said James Lindsay, senior portfolio manager at Nikko Asset Management.

"Bonds have this week tracked higher so that has impacted some of those yield names this week. It is a yield-dominated market, when offshore investors move orders around we are susceptible to that because so many of our New Zealand names have reasonable, quite substantial offshore holdings."

NZX was the best performer, up 2.8 per cent to $1.09, having dropped 5.4 per cent this week before Friday's session, while A2 Milk Co gained 2.4 per cent to $2.54.

Sky rose 2.8 per cent to $3.71. It has lost 14 per cent since its proposed merger with Vodafone NZ was declined by the Commerce Commission last month.

Fletcher Building gained 1 per cent to $9.29. The stock has been sold off quite aggressively and has bounced off lows, Mr Lindsay said.

Stride Property was the worst performer, down 1.7 per cent to $1.76. Mercury New Zealand fell 1.6 per cent to $3.12, Kathmandu Holdings dropped 1.5 per cent to $1.92, and Investore Property rose 1.5 per cent to $1.32.

NZME was unchanged at 83c. It and Fairfax New Zealand have got another month to convince the Commerce Commission that allowing a merger of the country's two dominant news publishers is in the public interest.

The regulator on Friday said it had agreed with the companies to extend the deadline on making a final decision on their merger application, which was to have been announced next Wednesday. The decision has been pushed out to April 11.

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