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NZ Sharemarket Closes Higher On Back Of Rises In Leaders

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Wellington, June 18 NZPA - The New Zealand sharemarket put runs on the board against the run of play in Asian markets, mostly due to strength in Telecom and Fletcher Building.

Telecom rose 10c to 269 on top of a 2c gain yesterday, while Fletcher Building gained 9c to 645.

The benchmark NZSX-50 index closed up 20.203 points, or 0.727 percent, at 2798.242.

Market turnover was high with $144 million worth of shares traded today of which $29m was in Telecom and $45m was in Fletcher Building shares. There were 39 rises and 47 falls among the 112 stocks traded.

Nigel Scott of ABN Amro Craigs said the demand for leading shares listed in Australia could have been derivatives-related as option contracts in Australia were due to close.

Also today, Telecom's competitors were critical of a Commerce Commission decision on sub-loop costs, which they said would make it unviable for competitors to unbundle all but a few of Telecom's cabinets.

Japanese shares and other Asian markets fell today on quarter-end profit taking.

Mr Scott said the New Zealand market had absorbed a lot of calls for money from companies raising new equity, reducing the amount of money otherwise available to invest.

Also, equities markets were consolidating from rallies.

"I think there is a slight rotation into more defensive stocks," he said.

SkyTV rose 6c to 431 and Auckland Airport rose 5c to 159.

Goodman Property Trust rose 2c to 88 and ING Property rose 1c to 59.

Mainfreight rose 5c to 425, The Warehouse rose 3c to 375 and Restaurant Brands rose 4c to 102.

Tower eased 6c to 180, Nuplex eased 3c to 161 and Freightways shed 12c to 285. TrustPower eased 1c to 790 and Ebos eased 10c to 535. Air NZ was back 4c at 94.

On Wall St, technology shares buoyed the Nasdaq on Wednesda y and banks were hurt by a broad debt ratings downgrade from Standard & Poor's and uncertainty over the government's extensive proposals for banking-industry reform.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 7.49 points, or 0.09 percent, to 8497.18. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index was off 1.26 points, or 0.14 percent, at 910.71. The Nasdaq Composite Index gained 11.88 points, or 0.66 percent, to 1808.06.

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