MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares gain as yields appeal, RBA cuts rate   1 May 2012

New Zealand stocks rose as investors were drawn to stocks with relatively appealing dividend yields and after a bigger than expected rate cut in Australia, the biggest offshore market for companies including Fletcher Building and Pumpkin Patch.

The NZX 50 Index rose 21.44 points, or 0.6 percent, to 3577.31. Within the index, 29 stocks rose, 10 fell and 11 were unchanged. Turnover was a lower-than-average $76.4 million.

Fletcher, the nation's biggest construction group, rose 1.6 percent to $6.36. Reserve Bank of Australia Governor Glenn Stevens said today that housing prices have shown signs of stabilising although the market remains subdued. He cut the cash rate to 3.75 percent.

Telecom, the biggest company on the bourse, edged up 0.2 percent to $2.635, the highest since the spin-off of the Chorus network business last November. Telecom has a dividend yield of 11.4 percent.

"We have seen more money flow into higher yielding and top stocks - that trend has continued today," said Bryon Burke, head dealer at Craigs Investment Partners. "There has been a more positive outlook given good corporate results out of the US over the last week."

Pumpkin Patch, the children's clothing chain that counts Australia as its biggest market, rose 2 percent to $1.02.

Ryman Healthcare, the retirement village operator, rose 2.2 percent to $3.24, an all-time high.

Rakon, the GPS components maker, led the bourse higher, climbing 6.3 percent to 51 cents after it said it will tap businessman Peter Springford to join the board. Springford has considerable experience in China.

Chorus rose 2.9 percent to $3.43 after fund manager AMP Capital NZ was granted government approval to exceed the 10 percent shareholding cap. The fund manager can buy up to 15 percent of the telecommunications network company.

PGG Wrightson was the biggest decliner in the benchmark index, falling 5.1 percent to 37 cents.

Pyne Gould Corp, which holds a stake in Wrightson, fell 5.9 percent to 32 cents after the wealth manager's auditor, KPMG, quit amid different opinions over the level of disclosure required for related party transactions and the adequacy of the George Kerr-controlled company's governance.

Fast-food franchise operator Restaurant Brands dropped 1.5 percent to $2.02.

Vital Healthcare Property Trust shrank 1.2 percent to $1.23 after the healthcare building investor spent A$12.3 million buying a new hospital in Sydney.

Contact Energy was unchanged at $4.85 after the power company flagged a substantial boost to cash flow from 2014 after it shelved plans for its hydro-projects on the Clutha River indefinitely.

(BusinessDesk)

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