MARKET CLOSE NZ stocks rise on energy rally; MRP, Meridian and Contact climb

By Suze Metherell April 24 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand stocks rose, energy stocks extended a rally for a second day as turmoil in the Labour Party fuelled speculation the incumbent National-led government ...

  • From the Farm: China tightens controls BusinessDesk - 35 minutes ago

    Last year the owner of a New Zealand infant formula brand sold in China was doing some serious legwork at home.

  • NZ dollar gains as RBNZ lifts rates, sees faster economic … BusinessDesk - 42 minutes ago

    The New Zealand dollar gained against other currencies after Reserve Bank governor Graeme Wheeler raised the official cash rate as expected, while lifting his estimate for economic growth in the March year to 3.5 percent. The kiwi rose to 86.24 US cents at 5pm in Wellington from 85.92 cents at 8am and 85.94 cents yesterday. Noting the strength of the kiwi dollar was unsustainable and holding back tradable inflation, the central bank raised its estimate for gross domestic product growth to 3.5 percent in the year ended March 31 from a previous forecast of 3.3 percent last month. At least they're not half-heartedly trying to jawbone the currency down when everyone knows it's going to have a very muted impact," said Stuart Ive, senior client adviser at OMF in Wellington.

  • The balancing act secret weapon - sleep AAP - 45 minutes ago

    Some of the most successful people I know are sharing their secret weapon for remaining strong and finding balance. One of them is Donna Shalala. She is the president of University of Miami and has a resume that anyone would find impressive - accomplished scholar, teacher and administrator. Her jobs titles include a stint working for then president Bill Clinton as secretary of health and human services.

  • Healthcare magnate in serious condition AAP - 1 hour 18 minutes ago

    One of Australia's richest men, Paul Ramsay, is in a serious condition in a European hospital. The Ramsay Health Care chairman and founder's admission to hospital was announced to the ASX on Thursday morning but no further details were given. "On behalf of all Ramsay staff and doctors, we express our deep concern for Mr Ramsay," the company said. "We will keep the market informed of Mr Ramsay's condition."

  • Mentors help minority companies accelerate AAP - 1 hour 46 minutes ago

    Mel Gravely says his construction company might not exist today if he didn't have mentors to guide it. Gravely's company, TriVersity, joined a program called a minority business accelerator even before he bought a controlling interest in the Cincinnati-based company in 2006. Accelerators have been launched in a handful of US metropolitan areas in recent years as local businesses, chambers of commerce and economic development groups work to create jobs and improve their region's quality of life. The Cincinnati accelerator, created by the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber in 2003, has inspired officials and business people in the Greenville, South Carolina;

  • Car production races ahead by 12% AAP - 1 hour 53 minutes ago

    Car production is accelerating ahead, driven by demand from Europe, according to the latest figures. A total of 142,158 cars were manufactured in the UK in March - a 12 per cent rise on the March 2013 figure, the Society of Motor Manufacturers (SMMT) said. SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes said: "The 12 per cent growth in UK car production in March 2014 is a significant step forward after a period of product changes at the start to the year. "This is a welcome boost for the UK's volume manufacturers for whom Europe is the key market.

  • $A remains below 93 US cents AAP - 2 hours 53 minutes ago

    Weaker than expected inflation figures are continuing to weigh on the Australian dollar. The plunge came after official figures showed an annual inflation rate to March 31 of 2.9 per cent, lower than the market forecast of 3.2 per cent. Inflation above the Reserve Bank of Australia's two to three per cent target range would have raised hopes of an interest rate hike later in the year. At 1200 AEST on Thursday, the Australian dollar was trading at 92.95 US cents, up from 92.80 cents at the end of local trade on Wednesday.

  • Facebook 1Q results soar; CFO to step down AAP - 2 hours 57 minutes ago
    Facebook 1Q results soar; CFO to step down

    Facebook's earnings nearly tripled and revenue grew sharply in the first quarter, surpassing Wall Street's expectations thanks to an 82 per cent increase in advertising revenue. It was the fourth quarter in a row that Facebook beat forecasts as it continues to barrel ahead in mobile advertising at a time when nearly 80 per cent of its users are accessing it on smartphones and other portable gadgets. Facebook's revenue was $US2.5 billion, up 71 per cent from $US1.46 billion in the same period a year ago. Facebook shares climbed $US2.34, or 3.8 per cent, to $US63.71 in extended trading after the results came out.

  • Share market holds on to gains AAP - 3 hours ago

    The share market is standing firm at near six year highs despite weakness in global stock markets. Local shares spent the morning in positive territory despite a soft lead from Wall Street overnight and losses on Asian markets, CommSec market analyst Juliette Saly said. Better than expected earnings reports from Apple and Facebook after the close of trading in the US had helped boost investor sentiment.

  • Whitehaven cuts coal guidance AAP - 3 hours ago

    Whitehaven Coal shares have fallen after the miner cut its full year production guidance by up to eight per cent due to operational problems. Whitehaven shares were down 2.5 cents, or 1.6 per cent, at $1.58 at 1200 AEST. Whitehaven had some good news last week when the Commonwealth Department of the Environment found the company's biodiversity offsets package for its controversial flagship Maules Creek project complied with approval conditions.

  • Transurban expands into Qld for $7b AAP - 3 hours ago
    Transurban expands into Qld for $7b

    Toll roads operator Transurban has extended its reach into Queensland, acquiring a string of Brisbane motorways from the Queensland government for more than $7 billion. A consortium led by Transurban has agreed to buy Queensland Motorways, after beating other bidders with a $7.057 billion offer. Queensland Motorways owns a 70 kilometre network of tolled roads including the Go Between Bridge, CLEM7, Gateway and Logan motorways. Transurban holds a 62.5 per cent stake in the consortium and will operate the Brisbane network.

  • New Heathrow Terminal 2 set for opening AAP - 3 hours ago

    The rundown, overcrowded Terminal 2 at London's sprawling Heathrow Airport is long gone, about to be replaced by a spacious new building built to handle 20 million passengers each year. The new facility was hailed as a cornerstone of Heathrow's revitalization when shown to reporters on Wednesday ahead of the June 4 opening. Lead architect Luis Vidal said its extensive use of natural light and high quality acoustics should make it a calm space for travellers accustomed to high anxiety at dark, noisy airports.

  • Stocks to watch at noon on Thursday AAP - 3 hours ago

    Stocks to watch on the Australian stock exchange at noon on Thursday: AGO - ATLAS IRON - up 4.25 cents, or 4.45 per cent, at 99.75 cents Western Australian iron ore producer Atlas Iron achieved record ...

  • Questions on bubble as tech momentum fades AAP - 3 hours ago

    The wobbly action of 2014 is still an open question: is this a correction, bear market or a bubble like the catastrophic dot-com boom and bust of 1999-2000? "There are some astronomical valuations out there," says Roger Kay, an analyst who follows tech companies at Endpoint Technologies. Facebook's market value is close to $US150 billion ($A161.33 billion), despite its spending spree including an eye-popping $US19 billion for messaging service WhatsApp and $US2 billion for the virtual reality company Oculus Rift. Twitter shares have tumbled some 40 per cent since peaking last year, but the popular messaging platform still carries a valuation of $US25 billion, despite never having posted a profit.

  • Southern Cross Forest attracts foreign, local interest, … BusinessDesk - 3 hours ago

    Financially stricken wood processor Southern Cross Forest Products has attracted both local and international interest from potential buyers, and its receiver hopes to progress the sale next month. KordaMentha's Brendon Gibson today announced plans to shut the Dunedin-based company's Rosebank sawmill after a fire at its Mosgiel remanufacturing site cut its drying capacity, reducing the volume of timber it can process, and decided to wind down its unprofitable Australian distribution business. An information memorandum in the market for potential buyers has attracted a "mixture of both" local and foreign parties, though the strong New Zealand dollar and high log prices are a challenge for the export-focused business, Gibson told BusinessDesk. Southern Cross Forest Products had three mills in the South Island and one in Thames, and today's restructuring will result in 79 jobs being lost.

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  • Tech boom presents new wrinkles for Wrigley Field Associated Press - 18 hours ago
    Tech boom presents new wrinkles for Wrigley Field

    During a recent game at Wrigley Field, John Weber was using a pencil and scorecard to expertly track the game between his hometown Cubs and the Pittsburgh Pirates. The 86-year-old retired transit worker ...

  • Toyota sells 2.58 million vehicles AAP - 21 hours ago
    Toyota sells 2.58 million vehicles

    Toyota has kept its position at the top in global vehicle sales for the first quarter of this year, outpacing rivals General Motors and Volkswagen. Toyota Motor said on Wednesday that it sold a record 2.583 million vehicles in the January-March period, putting the Japanese carmaker ahead of Detroit-based GM at 2.42 million and Volkswagen of Germany at 2.4 million. Toyota's first quarter sales rose by more than 6 per cent from the same period the previous year. GM's sales grew 2 per cent, while Volkswagen's added nearly 6 per cent.

  • Advocates vow to revive Navajo junk-food tax Associated Press - Wed, Apr 23, 2014 11:27 AM NZST
    Advocates vow to revive Navajo junk-food tax

    Facing a high prevalence of diabetes, many American Indian tribes are returning to their roots with community and home gardens, cooking classes that incorporate traditional foods, and running programs ...

  • Harley-Davidson 1Q earnings roar ahead Associated Press - Wed, Apr 23, 2014 7:06 AM NZST
    Harley-Davidson 1Q earnings roar ahead

    Harley-Davidson reported an 18.7 percent rise in first-quarter earnings, saying motorcycle sales grew 5.8 percent worldwide and efficiency efforts took hold during the quarter. The results beat Wall Street ...

  • How 'Sail' sold: Story of Awolnation's Aaron Bruno Associated Press - Wed, Apr 23, 2014 3:41 AM NZST
    How 'Sail' sold: Story of Awolnation's Aaron Bruno

    He has the second longest-running song in the history of the Billboard Hot 100 chart. You've likely heard the song — but not the name of the man who created it. Aaron Bruno is the musician behind "Sail," ...

  • 'Modern Family' dad opens beer restaurant in Utah Associated Press - Wed, Apr 23, 2014 3:12 AM NZST
    'Modern Family' dad opens beer restaurant in Utah

    He plays a bumbling dad on ABC's "Modern Family," but in Salt Lake City Ty Burrell is trying out for a role as restaurateur. Burrell has just opened Beer Bar, a beer garden-like eatery that serves ...

  • A Small Smartphone Startup Is Going Guerilla to Get Some Big-Time Attention Entrepreneur - Wed, Apr 23, 2014 3:00 AM NZST
    A Small Smartphone Startup Is Going Guerilla to Get Some Big-Time Attention

    You might not have heard of this company before. But that might soon change. It’s using guerilla-style marketing to aggressively get the word out about its forthcoming Android-based smartphone.

  • Summer movie preview: Hollywood bets big again Associated Press - Wed, Apr 23, 2014 2:29 AM NZST
    Summer movie preview: Hollywood bets big again

    Like jumbo jets on the runway, Hollywood's summer movies are lined up, ready for takeoff. Will they hit any turbulence? If the movie business had a "fasten your seat belt" light, it was certainly ...

  • Harley-Davidson 1Q earnings up 18.7 percent Associated Press - Wed, Apr 23, 2014 12:16 AM NZST
    Harley-Davidson 1Q earnings up 18.7 percent

    Harley-Davidson's first-quarter earnings rose 18.7 percent as motorcycle sales grew worldwide and efficiency efforts took hold. The Milwaukee company says global sales of new motorcycles grew 5.8 percent ...

  • E-cig industry awaits looming federal regulation Associated Press - Tue, Apr 22, 2014 10:44 PM NZST
    E-cig industry awaits looming federal regulation

    Smokers are increasingly turning to battery-powered electronic cigarettes to get their nicotine fix. They're about to find out what federal regulators have to say about the popular devices. The Food and ...