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Mining companies provide highlight in quiet NZ sharmarket

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Wellington, Oct 11 NZPA - The New Zealand sharemarket posted modest gains today with mining companies providing some of the few highlights.

Pike River Coal rose 7c, or 6.2 percent, to 120 after saying its West Coast mine had passed another milestone, installing its hydro-monitor system, and continued to increase daily production.

While NZOG rose 2c to 134 after saying oil production from the Tui field, of which it is a part owner, will increase in the December quarter now that the Pateke-3H production well is operating again after being shut-in since late June.

The news came on a day ExxonMobil and Todd Energy bailed out of drilling for oil and gas in the Great South Basin 100km from shore and in deep water south of the South Island. Australian company Bathurst Resources, which continues to work on developing an open cast mine on the West Coast's Buller coal field, said it has received government approvals for its investment.

The benchmark NZX-50 index edged up 2.229 points, or 0.069 percent, at 3234.885 and the market may be quiet tomorrow with the US market closed on Monday for the Columbus Day holiday.

"We have really crept up just into positive territory. The US market had weaker than expected employment numbers on Friday, which may force their hand on the so-called QE2, or quantitative easing," said Stuart Hardie, adviser at Craigs Investment Partners.

He said the top ten stocks were just treading water and were only up or down a cent or two.

Telecom eased 2c to 203, Fletcher Building rose a cent to 806 and Contact Energy rose 2c to 571. SkyCity eased a cent to 293.

Scott Technology rose 10c, or 7.7 percent, to 140 after reporting a strong annual profit last week.

NZX rose 2c to 164 after this morning announcing an agreement with the Reserve Bank to maintain competing but interoperable securities settlement systems.

Carpet manufacturer Cavalier fell 9c to 300.

US stocks ended last week firmly as a weak jobs report strengthened the case for further government stimulus and cheaper money.

The Dow Jones industrial average gained 57.90 points, or 0.53 percent, to close at 11,006.48. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index rose 7.09 points, or 0.61 percent, to 1165.15. The Nasdaq Composite Index climbed 18.24 points, or 0.77 percent, to 2401.91.

It was the first time the Dow closed above 11,000 since May 3.

For the week, the Dow and the S&P 500 each rose 1.6 percent, while the Nasdaq gained 1.3 percent.

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