MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares rise as bargain hunters move

Monday, 7 January 2019, 10:08 pm
Article: BusinessDesk

MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares rise as bargain hunters move on global relief rally

By Rebecca Howard

Jan. 7 (BusinessDesk) – New Zealand shares rose as improving risk appetite in the wake of strong US jobs data and a note of caution from the US Federal Reserve sparked bargain-hunting in stocks like Kathmandu, Synlait Milk and A2 Milk.

The S&P/NZX 50 index increased 62.28 points, or 0.7 percent, to 8,806.04. Within the index, 32 stocks gained, 11 fell and seven were unchanged. Turnover was low at $73.9 million.

Stocks across Asia gained sharply after December jobs growth in the US was stronger than expected and after US Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell said the Fed could be “patient” when assessing the need for more rate increases in 2019. Both factors helped ease concerns about a possible slowdown in global growth and the US economy in particular. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 3.3 percent while the S&P 500 rose 3.4 percent and the Nasdaq ended 4.3 percent higher.

“The strong positive lead from the US on Friday night has led to a big sigh of relief in markets today,” said Forsyth Barr broker Suzanne Kinnaird.

Asian share markets were also cheered after China’s central bank announced an easing in policy on Friday, with 100 basis points of cuts to bank reserve requirements freeing up around $116 billion for new lending.

The strongest gainer was digital church collection payment operator Pushpay, which gained 8.5 percent to $3.20 on stronger than normal volume after it said it achieved its target of breaking even on a monthly cash flow basis prior to the end of 2018 and is confident it will now have positive cash flows on an ongoing basis. It also reiterated its full-year

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