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New Zealand stocks mark up third record close in row; rise 20 percent in year

New Zealand stocks mark up third record close in row; rise 20 percent in year

New Zealand stocks hit a record level for the third day running Friday, to end a year in which the local bourse recorded a 20 percent rise in value.
The benchmark NZX-50 was up 8 points, or 0.2 percent, at 4,055.47, a fresh closing high.
The local market rose about 5 percent in December and is up 20 percent on the same month a year earlier.
Brokers expect holiday cheer to continue into New Year trading as retail investors chase analysts' stock picks for 2007.
Grant Williamson, a senior adviser at Hamilton Hindin Greene, said the positive tone would likely hold up into early January as "Mom and Pop" investors dominate trading in holiday-thinned markets.
Others noted the market may be in for some profit-taking mid-January once institutional investors return from the holiday break.
Brokers attributed the strong trading to institutions squaring up their books before the year-end holiday. The NZX-50 resumes trading Jan. 3.
Bellwether Telecom Corp. of New Zealand provided one of the few drags on the index Friday, closing down 0.8 percent to NZ$4.86 on profit-taking after its recent strong gains.
Exporters continued to feel the pressure of a strong New Zealand dollar, with the local unit pushing through key resistance around US$0.7050 overnight. Dealers say the Kiwi may target US$0.7100 in thin trading early in the New Year.
Notably, Fisher & Paykel Appliances, which generates a big portion of its revenue in U.S. dollars, closed down 0.3 percent at NZ$3.84.
Air New Zealand, which benefits from the impact of a higher New Zealand dollar on fuel costs, closed up 2 percent at NZ$1.89.
Air New Zealand is poised to tighten its grip on the domestic airline market in 2007 after Australia-based rival Qantas announced it would stop flights between the main cities of Wellington and Christchurch.


Updated : 2021-04-20 05:47 GMT+08:00