Wellington, Feb 8 NZPA - The New Zealand sharemarket briefly edged up to a new 29-month high when it opened today, then eased lower with key stock Telecom losing more than 1 percent.
Telecom lost 3c to 218 early, with Hellaby Holdings down 2c to 219.
The benchmark NZX-50 index was down 2.68 points around 10.15am to 3384.74, having been close to 3389 a few minutes earlier, its highest level since September 2008 when the global financial crisis hit markets.
Yesterday the index rose 19.6 points as Fletcher Building shares gained 19c to a three-month high.
Brokers attributed the rise yesterday to Fletcher Building's likely inclusion in the S&P/ASX 200 index after taking over Crane Group.
Telecom, which fell 3c yesterday, expects its weighting in the S&P/ASX 200 index will decrease to around 25 percent to 30 percent of its current level. Brokers said the weighting is currently around 0.26 percent and the changes are in a month's time.
Early today Fletcher Building was up 2c to 825 and Sky TV gained 2c to 542.
In the United States, stocks closed with solid gains after several big acquisitions were announced and a strong earnings report from Loews Corp pushed financial companies higher.
Preliminary closing figures put the Dow Jones industrial average up 0.6 percent to 12,161, the Standard & Poor's 500 index was up 0.6 percent to 1319, and the Nasdaq composite was up 0.5 percent to 2784.
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