#TGD: Fonterra holds up as NZX50 cracks 4,200

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NEW Zealand shares rose again on Monday, cracking through the 4,200 mark on the NZX50 Index of leading stocks, as Fonterra moved to allay concerns about the safety of New Zealand milk.The NZX50 closed up 4.616 points, or 0.11 per cent, at 4,2204.437.
Within the index, 25 stocks rose, 14 fell, and 11 were unchanged. Turnover was very light on a day when markets in Auckland and Australia were shut for public holidays, at $43.830 million.
Leading the market up was transport and logistics firm Freightways, which put on 2.06 per cent to close at $4.45, followed by a 1.85 per cent uptick in Skellerup Holdings shares to close at $1.65.
However, all eyes were on Fonterra Shareholders Fund unit prices on the first trading day since global media began paying attention to the discovery of minute traces of a fertiliser chemical in milk powder.
Fonterra units fell from $7.23 over the day to close 1.38 per cent lower at $7.13.
Fonterra chief executive Theo Spierings enlisted help from Prime Minister John Key to get the message out to key export markets for New Zealand’s $14.5 billion dairy export trade that the chemical DCD was at concentrations 100 times below European requirements and constituted no public health or safety risk.
Andrew Bascand, at Harbour Asset Management said Fonterra appeared to be front-footing the issue successfully with international investors.
«Commentary from our Chinese agents says they are comfortable with where we are at,» he said.
«The thing to watch for is for a country to want to be cautious. We don’t want to be put in an ‘on the bench’ situation» where a product was even temporarily withdrawn from sale.
«Even if that did happen, it’s an opportunity to invest,» Mr Bascand said.
Source: The Australian

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