Wellington, June 24 NZPA - The New Zealand sharemarket barely moved on a day in which a quickly executed change of leadership in neighbouring Australia came on top of growth figures for this economy.
The benchmark NZX-50 index closed down 4.818 points, or 0.158 percent at 3049.471. Turnover was worth $60.64 million. There were 25 rises and 37 falls among the 106 stocks traded.
David Price at Forsyth Barr said there was a dearth of corporate news to trade on. Fletcher Building and Nuplex had rough days but he cautioned against reading too much into price movements in the current market, given the light volumes.
Fletcher Building fell 15c to 797 and Nuplex fell 15c to 287. Fletcher Building disclosed a $30m accounting item to reflect changes in tax policy in the Government's budget and Goodman Fielder, which rose 3c to 173, disclosed at $16m liability.
Sky City, which disclosed a $60m liability along with profit guidance on Tuesday, rose 2c to 294.
"Of late many market observers had been lamenting the lack of spark in the market," Ben Potter of IG Markets said of the Australian market, which was up 0.12 percent as New Zealand's market closed.
"Clearly the dominant story of the day was the election of Julia Gillard as Australia's first female Prime Minister. While this represented a ground breaking day for the country the market's focus was most definitely centred on what implications the leadership change might mean for the Resource Super Profits Tax," he said. The general feeling was that Ms Gillard would adopt a more flexible approach with the miners.
Pike River Coal was unchanged at 91, NZOG eased 3c to 127 and OceanaGold eased 5c to 460. L&M Energy was in trading halt pending and announcement.
Telecom rose 2c to 197, after a 5c gain yesterday which was attributed to bargain hunting and recent news that Telstra would participate in Australia's broadband plans.
AuckIand Airport rose 3c to 195, The Warehouse rose 2c to 354 and TrustPower rose 3c to 725. Smartpay rose 0.01c to 3.2 after raising $870,000 of new equity.
In the US investors wrestled over the implications of the Fed's decision to renew its vow to hold benchmark interest rates exceptionally low. Its less bullish statement hurt a broad range of stocks with banks among the day's weakest.
"There was definitely a more negative tone," said Dan Cook, senior market analyst at IG Markets in Chicago. "The Fed doesn't have a great outlook, but that wasn't totally unexpected with the housing and labour market data we've seen lately."
The Dow Jones industrial average edged up 0.05 percent to finish at 10,298.44, while the Standard & Poor's 500 Index dipped 0.3 percent to close at 1092.04, and the Nasdaq Composite Index fell 0.3 percent to close at 2254.23.
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