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Market close: NZ stocks end week on new high

New Zealand shares rose again to create a new high for the NZX 50 Index, which is hovering just below the 4200 mark and close to a 1000-point index rise in 12 months.

The index of the top 50 shares rose 9.907 points, or 0.236 percent to 4199.821, even though only 15 shares rose, while 26 fell, reflecting the influence of heavyweights Telecom and Fletcher Building among risers.

Just nine stocks were unchanged and turnover was at a relatively low $98.738 million, with trading since the New Year tending comfortably above $110 million most days.

Traders are starting to look to the half-year earnings season, which will start in earnest the week after next, with much riding on the extent to which corporate earnings in a flat last half of 2012 can justify current multiples on many stocks.

NZX, the local bourse operator, was the biggest gainer for the second day in a row, rising 2.29 percent to $1.34, for a rise of 3.97 percent this week and 7.38 percent in the last week.

Fisher & Paykel Healthcare, which has been missing in action in recent days,was second strongest at $2.49, up $2.49. Telecom, worth 9.5 percent of the index, was third strongest at $2.38, up 1.93 percent.

Fletcher Buiilding, whose recent stellar performance has underpinned a more confident tone to New Zealand stocks, was up 0.11 percent to $9.20, still below a high this week of $9.34.

Oceana Gold, PGG Wrightson and Pumpkin Patch, all of which have been bouncing within a range in the last fortnight, had the most value loss for the day.

They were led by Oceana, down 2.35 percent to $3.32, PGW at 43 cents, down 2.27 percent, and Pumpkin Path at $1.31, down 2.24 percent on the day.

(BusinessDesk)

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