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Leaders Change On NZ Sharemarket Which Ends Slightly Up

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Wellington, Sept 18 NZPA - Fletcher Building passed Telecom to become top stock on the New Zealand sharemarket today and trading in the two stocks provided about half the turnover by value.

Telecom fell 7c to 267 to give it a market capitalisation of $4.97 billion at the close. Fletcher Building fell 5c 832 to have a market capitalisation at $5.02 billion, passing Telecom for the first time based on closing prices.

The benchmark NZSX-50 index closed up 3.664 points, or 0.116 percent, at 3156.463, after initially opening lower. Turnover was worth $124 million, of which $34m was in Telecom and $25m in Fletcher Building.

There were 50 rises and 40 falls among the 120 stocks traded.

Fletcher Building deserved its positions, said Stephen Wright at ASB Securities, but he pointed out that the company had raised new capital whereas Telecom had not.

Fletcher Building made up 13.79 percent of the index, followed by Telecom on 13.64 percent, Contact Energy on 9.6 percent and Auckland Airport on 6.21 percent.

Contact Energy rose 4c to 598 and Auckland Airport rose 5c to 185.

"I recalled before September started a lot of commentators predicted a correction but it hasn't happened. There is a lot of cash sitting on the sidelines," Stuart Hardie, investment adviser at ABN Amro Craigs.

That said, there was also a concern that the market could run ahead of itself.

Restaurant Brands rose 16c to 119 after the company upgraded its annual profit forecast on the back of a strong performance by KFC and ongoing turnaround in Pizza Hut.

Taylors rose 12c to 224 after Spotless upped its offer enough to get a thumbs up from independent directors.

Port of Tauranga rose 16c to 680 on light volume. APN rose 9c, also on light volume.

Steel and Tube eased 10c to 335, Air NZ fell 1c to 122 and Ebos fell 5c to 595. NZX rose 20c to 840 and Tower rose 11c to 178. Pike River Coal rose 2c to 100 and Rakon rose 5c to 145.

SkyCity rose 2c to 324 and Mainfreight rose 3c to 533.

Lion Nathan rose 1c to 1461. Fisher and Paykel Appliances again paid tribute to departing chief executive John Bongard today in announcing he will leave on September 30. The shares were unchanged at 80.

Infratil rose 2c to 171 and Michael Hill rose 1c to 76.

Sanford fell 13c to 487, Hellaby fell 5c to 170 and TrustPower fell 5c to 745.

In the United States, stocks slipped after a three-day runup on concern recent gains were overextended despite the latest round of solid economic data.

Business activity in the mid-Atlantic states jumped more than expected in September and advanced to its highest level since June 2007, underscoring hopes the economic recovery was on track.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 0.1 percent to end at 9783.92, the Standard & Poor's 500 Index was down 0.3 percent at 1065.49, and the Nasdaq Composite Index was down 0.3 percent at 2126.75.

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