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Shares rise on subdued day of trading

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 28/07/2016 Sophie Boot
© Bloomberg

New Zealand shares gained in relatively subdued trading ahead of earnings season. Comvita and A2 Milk rose while Steel & Tube Holdings dropped.

The S&P/NZX 50 Index rose 4.44 points, or 0.1 per cent, to 7,306.34. Within the index, 30 stocks rose, 18 fell and three were unchanged. Turnover was $124.4 million.

Comvita led the index, up 4.1 per cent to $10.78. The stock has gained 23 per cent this year but dropped to a 3-month low of $10.35 on Tuesday. Mark Lister, head of private wealth research at Craigs Investment Partners, said there may be some bargain hunting coming into the stock after it dropped for a few weeks.

A2 rose 2.6 per cent to $1.95, while Metro Performance Glass gained 2.2 per cent to $1.90, and New Zealand Refining Co was up 2.1 per cent to $2.45.

Mainfreight advanced 0.9 per cent to $17.10. The transport and logistics group held its annual meeting on Thursday.

"The share price reaction is pretty muted. The stock's up marginally," Lister said.

Steel & Tube Holdings was the worst performer, down 4.1 per cent to $2.09.

"I think they've still got a few issues to work through - all of those challenges they've been facing with their product in terms of their accreditation, I think there's still more headwinds for them on that front, and the stock did have a pretty good rally at the end of last month," Lister said.

Genesis Energy dipped 2.2 per cent to $2.18, Xero dropped 1.8 per cent to $19.58 and Chorus fell 1.8 per cent to $4.46.

Investore Property declined 0.6 per cent to $1.64.

Outside the main index, Energy Mad dropped 3.3 per cent to 5.8 cents. The energy efficient light-bulb maker says it made an unaudited operating profit of $348,000 in the first three months of its financial year 2017, hailing a modest "turning of the corner" as it focuses on meeting demand driven by state-supported schemes in Australia.

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