19 Oct 2009

F and P Healthcare gain on debt reduction news

8:28 pm on 19 October 2009

The benchmark NZX 50 index rose 14 points, or 0.4%, to close at 3,221 on Monday on turnover of $60 million.

Of the major stocks, Fletcher Building was up 18c to $8.35, Telecom down 2c to $2.53 and Contact Energy up 5c to $6.25.

Fisher and Paykel Healthcare gained 8c to $3.05 after announcing it had taken advantage of the strong New Zealand dollar and cashed in currency contracts to reduce its debt by nearly a fifth.

PGG Wrightson was unchanged at 78c after announcing that the China-based Agria Corporation would pay $36 million for a 13% stake in the rural services company.

Restaurant Brands rose 4c to $1.46 after posting a half-year profit of $8.9 million on Friday.

In currency markets, the NZ dollar was running at 74.53 US cents, 81.15 Australian, 45.56 pence, 67.62 Yen, and .5002 euro. The TWI was at 66.82.

The Australian sharemarket closed almost 1% lower, weighed down by a sell-off of financial stocks sparked by disappointing US corporate results.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index closed down 43.6 points, or 0.9%, at 4,792.8, while the broader All Ordinaries fell 40.8 points, or 0.84%, to 4,801.8. Of the 20 biggest stocks, 14 declined.