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NZ sharemarket closes flat but Hallenstein Glasson rises

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Wellington, Aug 6 NZPA - Investors flocked to buy Hallenstein Glasson shares today after the operator of clothing chains forecast a big profit increase from managing its business well in a challenging trading environment.

Its share price leapt 22c, or 6.11 percent, to 382 on a forecast 55 percent to 57 percent profit rise care of an improved product offering, a high New Zealand dollar and less discounting.

The company does not report earnings until late September but it was a heartening signal on the brink of the local corporate reporting season expected to be patchy.

It contrasted with yesterday's bleak trading update from Kathmandu Holdings and a forecast today of a 15 percent decline in annual profit by Wellington retailer Kirkcaldie and Stains. Kathmandu was down another 8c to 168 today, and Kirkcaldie shares did not trade.

Briscoe Group further added to the picture of the retailing sector by reporting a fall in home store sales as a driver in an overall 1.96 percent fall in same store sales in the second quarter from a year ago. But Briscoe said underlying earnings are tracking above last year and its share price eased just a cent to 119.

The benchmark NZX-50 index closed down 0.036 percent, or 0.001 percent, at 3044.632.

Offshore markets failed to provide much of a lead with investors doing little ahead of United States payrolls data tonight.

Telecom was unchanged at 202, as was Contact Energy at 569. Fletcher Building rose 10c to 764.

Ebos Group Ltd fell 5c to 665 after rising to 670 yesterday when it announced its annual result on August 26 would reflect another excellent trading year for the medical equipment supplier.

Michael Hill rose 2c to 68 and The Warehouse was unchanged at 352. Hellaby rose 5c to 185.

Pike River Coal rose 2c to 99, Guinness Peat Group rose 1c to 66 and Rakon rose 1c to 111.

Goodman Property fell 1c to 93, Kiwi Income Property Trust fell 1c to 94. Port of Tauranga fell 9c to 680 and TrustPower fell 3c to 717.

In the US, the Dow Jones industrial average slipped 5.45 points, or 0.05 percent, to 10,674.98. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index dropped 1.43 points, or 0.13 percent, to 1125.81. The Nasdaq Composite Index lost 10.51 points, or 0.46 percent, to 2293.06.

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