Wellington, March 9 NZPA - The New Zealand share market was little changed today in which there was a dearth of corporate news.
The near-flat performance followed similar market performances overseas and brokers said it was a matter of waiting for confidence to return.
The benchmark NZSX-50 index closed down 1.866 points, or 0.076 percent, at 2469.174. Turnover was worth $93.26 million. There were 33 rises and 49 falls among the 112 stocks traded.
Weak residential building data for the December quarter today reiterated that that part of the economy was weak and that gross domestic product data was likely to be negative for the quarter.
"The market is flat and that is just a carry on from the market in the US being flat on Friday and the UK market being dead flat," Stuart Hardie, investment adviser at ABN Amro Craigs said.
He said there was little corporate news today.
Investors are focused on the Reserve Bank of New Zealand interest rate decision on Thursday and ahead of it the currency was little changed today.
Contact was the stand out among the leaders, rising 10c to 565, while Fletcher Building was down 2c at 513 and Telecom was down 2c at 237.
Port of Tauranga was down 9c to 525 on a day it again refuted a statement by a would-be rival terminal operator.
Lion Nathan, Pike River Coal, Methven and Michael Hill were among the stocks that were unchanged.
Freightways was among the losers, declining 15c to 279 but Mainfreight rose 10c to 340.
Tourism Holdings rose 3c to 50 and Cavalier rose 5c to 132. The Warehouse rose 5c to 335.
Goodman Fielder eased 11c to 134 and NZX eased 5c to 520. Nuplex eased 10c to 95 after appointing advisers as it considered capital needs and negotiated debt covenants with its bankers.
In the US on Friday (local time), stocks mostly limped into positive territory after a week in which they took a battering.
The Dow and S&P rebounded late in the day to end higher as surging oil prices lifted energy stocks and offset a sell-off in technology shares on bets that the slowing economy will sap consumer spending on gadgets.
Financial shares came off their lows after the Wall Street Journal reported that Lloyds Banking Group and the British government had agreed on an asset protection scheme, easing concerns about frail capital positions at global banks.
During the session, the Dow and S&P touched fresh 12-year lows.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 0.5 percent to 6626.94, the Standard & Poor's 500 Index inched up just 0.1 percent to 683.38, while the Nasdaq Composite Index fell 0.4 percent to 1293.85.
It was the fourth week of declines for all the indexes, with the Dow losing 6.2 percent, the S&P 500 sliding 7 percent, and the Nasdaq dropping 6.1 percent.
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