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New Zealand sharemarket ends little changed again

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Wellington, Oct 8 NZPA - The New Zealand sharemarket was little changed again today as markets around the world waited for key employment data in the United States.

Investors tended to take profits ahead of the US non-farm payrolls report, which if weak could trigger the Federal Reserve to move to boost the US economy. The third quarter corporate earnings season also kicks off tonight in the US with Alcoa due to report after the closing bell.

The benchmark NZX-50 index closed down 3.425 points, or 0.106 percent, at 3232.656 after opening down 1.28 points. It edged down a point yesterday.

Westpac said the coming few days are jam-packed with event risk. The US non-farm payrolls report is followed by weekend meetings of the Group of Seven, International Monetary Fund and World Bank.

Against that gloomy backdrop Dunedin-based Scott Technology rose 5c, or 4 percent, to 130 after reporting a strong annual profit and increasing its dividend, arguing customer focus and diversity in its markets worked as a strategy in a difficult operating environment.

DNZ Property, which is now in the NZX-50, rose 3c to 116.

Tourism Holdings rose 2c to 89, Pike River Coal rose 2c to 113 and Hellaby Holdings rose 2c to 192.

Among the leaders Telecom rose 1c to 205, Fletcher Building was unchanged at 805 and Contact Energy eased 6c to 569.

SkyCity rose 2c to 294 and Nuplex rose 1c to 325. TrustPower rose 4c to 744.

Port of Tauranga rose 3c to 704 on a day Ports of Auckland said its managing director will leave next year. Lyttelton Port updated the market today on the impact of the September 4 earthquake.

Auckland Airport eased 3c to 204, Tower eased 2c to 180 and Methven eased 2c to 172. Ebos eased 3c to 705. Oceanagold esed 9c to 490.

In the US, stocks were pressured by weak commodities and a firmer US dollar.

Investors said better-than-expected weekly jobless claims limited declines, but the spotlight was on Friday's (local time) larger non-farm payrolls report.

The Dow Jones industrial average dipped 0.2 percent to 10,948.58, the Standard & Poor's 500 Index eased 0.2 percent to 1158.06, but the Nasdaq Composite Index added 0.1 percent to 2383.67.

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