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New Zealand sharemarket eases slightly, volatile week ends

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Wellington, May 14 NZPA - The New Zealand sharemarket closed lower on a day in which other markets were even weaker as investors beaten up by recent market volatility remained cautious.

The benchmark NZX-50 index closed down 4.796 points, or 0.15 percent, at 3191.007. Turnover was worth $82.33 million. There were 31 rises and 49 falls among the 113 stocks traded.

A return to form by Fletcher Building, which rose 10c to 818, was a feature of the session.

"It had lost about 50c from the start of May and is now just clawing back those losses quite nicely," said Grant Williamson, director at Hamilton, Hindin, Greene.

Overall, he said the market had outperformed the Australian market and other markets in Asia.

"It has been a pretty rough week of wild swings that investors really don't like," he said.

TrustPower rose 5c to 735 after reporting a rise in annual profit. Contact Energy fell 1c to 615.

Guinness Peat Group fell 2c to 83 on good volume. Air NZ fell 2c to 123 on a day in which it used a novel approach to respond to an editorial in the Listener magazine.

Property companies are waiting to see what tax changes affect them next week's budget. Today they were mostly weaker with Goodman Property Trust down 1c at 97, Property for Industry down 1c to 114 and Kiwi Income Property Trust down 2c to 97.

Telecom eased 1c to 210 on a day in which it was granted leave to appeal to the Supreme Court in cases disputing the telecommunication service obligation.

SkyCity fell 1c to 302, Auckland Airport fell 1c to 196 and The Warehouse fell 2c to 362. Cavalier Carpets fell 2c to 253.

US stocks fell on Thursday as downbeat comments on the economy from tech company Cisco Systems Inc and retail chain Kohl's Corp raised doubt about the strength of the US recovery.

The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 113.96 points, or 1.05 percent, to end at 10,782.95. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index fell 14.23 points, or 1.21 percent, to 1157.44. The Nasdaq Composite Index lost 30.66 points, or 1.26 percent, to close at 2394.36.

The S&P 500 gained 5.47 percent in the first three days of the week -- its biggest three-day run since July 2009.

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